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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, December 19, 2014
'Green News Report' 12/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Nothin' but good news for a change! - NY bans fracking!; Obama protects AK's Bristol Bay!; PLUS: More indictments for 'Freedom Industries' in WV toxic chemical spill!...
Previous GNRs: 12/16/14 - 12/11/14 - Archives...
Brad on Hartmann Radio: Wrapping Up a Few More Election 2014 Races
Yes, some of us are still paying attention.
Plus: A BRAD BLOG 'Programming Note'...
'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
Previous GNRs: 12/11/14 - 12/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
Read the 'mind-boggling' responses to BRAD BLOG's emailed explanation of blatant errors and inaccuracies in Francis Barry's op-ed...
Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
Adverse court ruling, barring inclusion of 4,600 rejected ballots, signals end of road (for now) of state's most expensive campaign, decided by just 800 votes out of 1.5 million cast...
'Green News Report' 12/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP anti-enviro wish list in "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate talks; Calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into action; PLUS: CEO indicted for WV chemical spill...
Previous GNRs: 12/9/14 - 12/4/14 - Archives...
The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
SOLVED: Mystery that Flipped Maine Senate Election!
21 'phantom ballots' flipped the results of a Nov. 4th state Senate election from D to R. But a dramatic turn of events and hand-counted paper ballots have now resolved the mystery...
'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
Previous GNRs: 12/4/14 - 12/2/14 - Archives...
Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
If they had to pass a test on American history and government, Fox 'News' viewers, as studies show, would be in big, big trouble...
Thousands of Ballots Excluded from Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure 'Recount'
Proponents charge interference by out-of-state corporate opponents, state's failure to count legal ballots due to 'signature problems'...
NC Repubs Trying to Run-Out Clock on Voter Suppression Lawsuit (Again)?
Plaintiffs charge state attempt to reschedule next summer's federal trial 'unsupportable', 'disingenuous'...
'Green News Report' 12/4/14
Biggest German utility spins off fossil fuel assets; Fossil fuel biz running scared? FL punishes homeowners for not polluting; PLUS: MSNBC's Big Coal infomercial...
House Judiciary Letter Suggests Impeachment for Wife-Beating Judge
Bi-partisan congressmen seek update from 11th Circuit Court, cite potential impeachment of Judge Mark Fuller...
'Green News Report' 12/2/14
New UN summit underway; Record rain, drought in CA; Global cost of falling oil prices; PLUS: Legacy of world's worst industrial disaster, 30 years later...
'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
Razor-thin computer-reported margin, failed paper-ballot tabulators, untallied provisionals, terrible 'recount' rules leave Barber-McSally contest in AZ-2 unsettled...
'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 seems'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in tiny Maine town, reverse results of very close state contest...
'Recount' for Oregon's GMO Ballot 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...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank's dire warning...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting
A few thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice in the killing of Michael Brown...
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...


CA's same-sex marriage ban struck down by federal judge...
By Brad Friedman on 8/4/2010 1:57pm PT  

Great news for real conservatives who believe in the U.S. Constitution and its guarantee of equal protection under the law!

A U.S. District Court Judge, first nominated by Ronald Reagan and then appointed under George H.W. Bush, has struck down CA's Prop 8 which added an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage equality. The state's majority Republican-appointed Supreme Court had previously found no basis for banning same-sex marriage in the CA constitution. That finding was, in effect, overturned at the ballot box in November 2008 by Prop 8 which ended same-sex marriage in the state and left thousands of marriages in limbo until today's finding.

As New York Magazine was first to report...

This afternoon U.S District Judge Vaugh[n] Walker ruled in the case brought before him by lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies, which argued that the Proposition 8 ballot initiative denying marriage rights to same sex couples in California was unconstitutional. In a decision just handed down to lawyers for both sides, Walker ruled in that Proposition 8 is "unconstitutional under both the due process and equal protection clauses." The court, therefore, "orders entry of judgment permanently enjoining its enforcement." We're staying tuned for more updates and details on the 136-page decision, but these two sentences from the conclusion are critical:

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same sex couples.

That's what history sounds like. Of course, before the ruling was released, lawyers for the opposing side filed a motion to stay his ruling pending an appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

TPMMuckraker's Rachel Slajda reports that "Supporters of Prop 8 (that is, opponents of gay marriage) have already promised to file an appeal," and she now offers more quotes from Judge Vaughn Walker's landmark decision.

And just a reminder to those of you foes of equality and the Constitution: Remember, where same-sex marriage is found to be legal and Constitutional, it will still be voluntary. You will not be forced to marry someone of the same sex. Just in case that's been unclear up until now.

* * *

UPDATE: CNN reports that, in a separate ruling [PDF], Walker grants a stay to his finding, pending appeal by the opponents of equality. If appealed, as is almost certain, the case will go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then likely to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Marcy Wheeler of emptywheel tweets a very interesting point, worth remembering, in relation to the likely inevitable hearing before the U.S. Supremes...

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

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UPDATE: Suspect was planning to attack ACLU
By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2010 1:23pm PT  

From San Francisco Chronicle...

A 45-year-old parolee, described by his mother as angry at left-wing politicians, opened fire on California Highway Patrol officers on an Oakland freeway early Sunday and was hit by return fire while wearing body armor, authorities said.

Byron Williams of Groveland (Tuolumne County) was taken to the emergency room at Highland Hospital, where he was in stable condition.
...
Williams watched the news on television and was upset by "the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items," his mother said.

Golly, I wonder what channel Williams watched for his "news on television".

* * *

[We'll take this opportunity, again, to ask you to sign on to VR's StopDomesticTerror.com campaign if you haven't already. Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.]

* * *

UPDATE 7/20/10: A few more details now from AP:

Police say a California man arrested after a freeway shootout with authorities was planning to attack people at the American Civil Liberties Union and another nonprofit group.

Oakland police Officer Jeff Thomason says Byron Williams was upset with the ACLU and Tides Foundation for their political views.
...
He was arraigned Tuesday on four counts of attempted murder, plus weapons enhancements. He was released from the hospital earlier in the day after being treated for injuries from the shootout.

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Complaint leaves room for their employer/pimp, Andrew Breitbart to be added as defendant in the future...
By Brad Friedman on 7/12/2010 12:42am PT  

Rightwing dirty-trickster and convicted federal criminal James O'Keefe and his accomplice Hannah Giles are being sued for invasion of privacy by a San Diego ACORN worker.

Juan Carlos Vera was fired by the 4-decade old anti-poverty, pro-democracy community organization after deceptively edited and secretly recorded video tapes of a meeting Vera had with O'Keefe and Giles were released by the pair and published on Republican propagandist Andrew Breitbart's websites. The tapes were then widely aired on Fox "News", as well as non-Rightwing media outlets.

Vera is suing for at least $75,000 in accordance with California's Invasion of Privacy Act which, according to the short, four-page complaint [PDF] filed at week's end in U.S. District Court, "prohibits the recording of confidential communications without the consent of all participants where there is an objectively reasonable expectation that the conversation is not being overheard or recorded."

In April of this year, CA Attorney General Jerry Brown completed a five-month probe into O'Keefe/Giles/Breitbart's secretly-taped ACORN videos and found "no criminality" by any of the ACORN workers seen on what he described as "severely edited" tapes.

He did, however, find that O'Keefe and Giles themselves were likely to have violated California law, and could see private litigation brought against them...

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

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TONIGHT: CA-4 Candidate Clint Curtis, PLUS: Guy Who Hates Brad!
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 7/9/2010 4:32pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives at the bottom. Enjoy!]

It's my final night this week guest hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show. Mike will be back Monday, but until then, we'll be BradCasting our last show for a while again LIVE from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT). It's your last chance for a while to join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in!

The LIVE (and very lively!) chat room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG during the show, so come on by while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

So far scheduled for tonight's show...

  • GORDON PETERSON, a long-time Democratic Party activist from Dallas and a now-former Malloy Show podcast subscriber who cancelled his subscription, in no small part, because he hates it when I guest host, believes I'm "election-wise clueless", a "Ludditte", doesn't like my "kneejerk halfassed crap" about getting rid of e-voting, and believes we need "MORE computers, rather than less" in our public election systems. He'll explain all of the above tonight! Should be a lively conversation!
  • CLINT CURTIS, former Florida computer programmer/whistleblower who has long-alleged (via sworn affidavit, video-taped testimony to a U.S. House Judiciary panel, and a polygraph test ) that he was asked by former Republican Congressman Tom Feeney to create a vote-rigging software prototype, as originally reported by The BRAD BLOG in 2004, and continuously ever since, and now as told in the documentary: Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story, on his candidacy in California's 4th U.S. Congressional district to unseat incumbent Republican Tom McClintock.
  • PLUS: Everything else we didn't get to this week, including YOUR calls on anything you'd like at 877-520-1150, and your tweets to @TheBradBlog and whatever else comes up along the way...

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates around the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

Click here to jump into our LIVE Chat Room during the show. Or just see below!...

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: We had a terrific week sitting in for Mike and Kathy, and hope you enjoyed it even a fraction as much as we did. It was a great week of shows, and tonight (I don't think) was no exception. Audio archives all posted down below, and the archive of the chat room, as usual, below it (wherein Gordon showed up to take still more punishment after coming on air, for some reason)...

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

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TONIGHT: L.A. Cty Registrar Dean Logan, Grist's David Robertson
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 7/7/2010 4:50pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with audio archives below.]

It's hump day for my latest week-long sting filling in as Guest Host on the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show. We'll be BradCasting LIVE all this week from L.A.'s KTLK am1150 9pm-Midnight ET (6p-9p PT). Please join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in!

The LIVE chat room will again be up and rolling here at The BRAD BLOG during the show, so come on by for that as ya listen! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

So far scheduled for tonight's show...

  • DEAN LOGAN, Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk on his office's report on the six different failures I encountered while trying and failing (again) to vote last June on the county's ES&S e-voting machines, and on his plans for the future to replace the disastrous systems in the country's largest voting jurisdiction.
  • DAVID ROBERTS, Grist.org's climate and energy reporter on the status of federal clean energy legislation, the BP disaster and what cap and trade actually means.
  • PLUS: Whatever else you and I feel like talking about, including your calls at 877-520-1150, tweets to @TheBradBlog and whatever else comes up along the way...

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates around the country and also on Sirius Ch. 146 & XM Ch. 167. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

Click here to jump into our LIVE Chat Room during the show. Or just see below!...

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: A thinking man (and woman)'s show tonight. I think. Lots to bite off and chew into. Enjoy the audio archives below, and the chat archives below them...

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

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Registrar issues 5-page report, offering explanations for the no-less-than-6 different problems that occurred when I attempted to cast my ballot on the ES&S voting system last month..
By Brad Friedman on 7/7/2010 4:00pm PT  

[Ed Note: L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan was my guest on Wednesday night to discuss this report and its associated issues, as I am guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show again this week. The audio archive of that interview is now posted here. - BF]

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office has issued a 5-page report on the complete failure I experienced while attempting to cast a ballot on the county's electronic voting system during this year's June 8th statewide primary.

The failures that I encountered last month --- as I detailed that night --- mirrored, almost exactly, those that occurred when I attempted to use the very same system, at the very same polling place, during the statewide primary in June of 2008 when the ES&S InkaVote Plus e-voting system that time had misprinted 4 out of 12 of my votes.

This time, it didn't misprint my ballot because I caught the problem --- on two separate machines --- before getting to the point where the system would have printed out my ballot. And this time, just as they concluded after a detailed investigation last time, L.A. County Registrar Dean Logan's office is chalking it up to, essentially, 'human error', in addition to limitations and inadequacies of the e-voting system itself...

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

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Vic Rawl says inexplicable Democratic primary contest casts 'cloud' over state election; Notes 'irregularities', problem reports from voters, poll workers, vows 'electoral reform', calls for 'full and unblinking investigation of overall integrity' of state's ES&S voting system...
UPDATE: 'Burden of proof' on Rawls. Good luck with that.
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2010 12:32pm PT  

[UPDATED at end of article.]

A formal challenge to the announced results of South Carolina's Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate has now been filed by Judge Vic Rawl, the candidate who wasn't announced the winner by the state's oft-failed, easily-manipulated, 100% unverifiable ES&S e-voting system.

Rawl released an official statement on his website today, in conjunction with the filing and a press conference he held in Charleston this afternoon.

The statement points generally to a number of findings being made by the campaign as independent experts have analyzed the results, voting patterns and problems being reported by poll workers and voters on Election Day where the unknown, unemployed candidate Alvin Greene defeated Rawl on the unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting systems, performing 11 points better on those machines than he did in the paper-based absentee results. The oft-failed, easily-manipulated ES&S election results reporting system gave Greene a 59% to 41% "victory" over Rawl.

Greene did no campaigning, had no name recognition, had no campaign website, faces felony obscenity charges and managed, somehow, according to the electronic results, to best Rawl, a four-term state legislator to win the nomination to face incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint in this November's general election.

We've covered details and analysis of this bizarre matter in two previous articles since last Tuesday's election:

As you'll see below, Rawl's official statement today reads as an indictment of the state's electronic voting system and, frankly, as a summary of years of The BRAD BLOG's oft-ignored reporting (and warnings) about the ES&S e-voting system's disastrously failed record...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/9/2010 1:25pm PT  

A bit of comic relief that I was able to enjoy at the polls yesterday, as officials tried to figure out what the hell was causing my own (latest) e-voting disaster...

Many potential captions occur to me for use with the photo above, but I'll leave all of them to your imagination...or comments.

Have been working on a number of items (one rather important new exclusive), and various follow-ups to yesterday's elections. But, to be frank, my own deja vu nightmare yesterday has left me too depressed today to give much of a damn about any of it for the moment.

Will be on the radio with the very-smart-if-often-too-Libertarian-for-his-own-good Jack Blood at 2pm PT and then with the very-smart-and-always-refreshingly-well-informed Nicole Sandler @ 3:15pm PT thereafter. So hopefully one of those two appearances will cheer me up, and I'll feel like getting back to work soon. Or not.

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Failure echoes 2008, as two different machines and at least six different failures stymie both poll workers and county officials at my own home precinct...
By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2010 11:50pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

Two years ago, in June of '08, the ES&S "InkaVote Plus" e-vote system in Los Angeles County misprinted 4 out of 12 of my own votes.

Today, as I tried to vote on the same system, the failure was even worse. Incredibly. And not just because I cover issues of Election Integrity for a "living."

I spent more than two and a half hours not casting a vote on the system before eventually I, the poll workers, and, apparently, the folks at the L.A. County Registrar's central help desk call center, simply gave up. A complete and total failure of the e-voting system for disabled voters in the nation's largest voting jurisdiction. Again. On a system the county spent millions to buy in order to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) boondoggle by allowing disabled voters to cast their votes independently. Complete and total failure.

I did my best to document the disaster as it happened, in real time, on my Twitter feed. But the cell signal was very bad at the polling place, so not everything got out. But here's what happened in detail, and with a few graphics tossed in...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2010 10:36am PT  

Elections are being held in some 13 states (Arkansas, California, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia) today. Lord help us.

A reminder how helpful screenshots of election results taken from official websites on election night and in the days following, can potentially be, can be found in our recent exclusive on the still unexplained results from the Monroe County, Arkansas, May 18th primary, where thousands of votes "disappeared" in the days after the election.

If you don't know how to take a screenshot, here's the quick primer (at least on a PC): While viewing the page in question, hold the ALT button and hit the PrtScreen button. Then paste the ensuing clipboard graphic into a graphics program, and save with a filename that includes both the date and time the shot was taken. Hopefully someone else can explain how to do that on a Mac in comments.

Of course, as you hear or read of problems at the polls throughout the day, feel free to email us with details and URLs, and we'll do our best to look into it.

On the more-political-less-Election-Integrity side of the equation, The BRAD BLOG's resident attorney/historian-in-chief Ernest Canning has offered a number of recent, noteworthy articles on matters related to the ballot out here in CA, perhaps they're worth re-linking this morning. Of particular interest --- even to readers across the country --- should be the top item below, concerning Prop 16, and the deceptive way in which a huge corporate power is attempting to deceive voters with the use of millions of dollars to support a phony campaign.

For that matter, in reviewing the articles below, they each speak to one common element: the outlandish power that money holds, now more than ever, when it comes to our "democracy"...

5/9/10: Prop 16 'Power Play': A Private Utility's Assault on Publicly-Owned Electricity Providers

4/27/10: Meg Whitman, Wall Street, 'Billionaire Sociopaths' and the Media 'Substance Deficit'
5/31/10: Billionaire vs. Billionaire: Propaganda and Race in CA's GOP Gubernatorial Primary

5/16/10: Winograd Misses 'Debate' Chance to Slam Harman's Dissembling, Conflicts-of-Interest

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'Blue Dog' Harman tries in vain to distance herself from 'Big Pharma,' military-industrial complex...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/31/2010 5:25pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

No doubt, the last person eight-term "Blue Dog" Democrat Rep. Jane Harman (CA-36) expected to see when she sat down for a Progressive Caucus panel discussion on April 20 at the California Democratic Convention was the progressive Democratic challenger for her U.S. House seat, Marcy Winograd. In fact, Winograd wasn't even in the room when Harman began to speak.

Winograd explained:

I spoke, then left, then got a cell phone call: "Get back here. Jane Harman just arrived." I ran back downstairs, returned to the crowded room, and quietly sat down, unbeknownst to Jane, just three bodies down from her on the panel. I waited for her to finish her thought, then jumped in.

Winograd seized the moment to engage in a debate of sorts (video below), confronting the wealthy eight-term Congresswoman on a range of issues, including Harman's committee vote to significantly extend Big Pharma's patent protection over biomedical drugs. Harman's response was remarkably deceptive; yet, perhaps because this was not a pre-scheduled "debate," Winograd failed to seize a rare face-to-face moment to directly confront Harman's conflicts-of-interest and prevarication...

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

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Competing ads, a rare instance of investigative journalism and a hard-right embrace of AZ's Apartheid 'Pass Law,' helps close Poizner's gap against front-runner Whitman...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/16/2010 10:31pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

In "Meg Whitman, Wall Street, 'Billionaire Sociopaths' and the Media 'Substance Deficit,'" we noted:

Californians have been drawn within the cross-hairs of a propaganda blitz bought and paid for by Meg Whitman, the billionaire former CEO of eBay, who, since declaring her intent to run for governor in February, 2009, has already contributed $59 million of her own money to her "campaign" --- a one-sided political phenomenon which has seen a stealth candidate, with disturbing connections to Goldman Sachs, soar to the top of the polls because the electoral process has been emasculated by the absence of mandatory debates and meaningful investigative journalism.

Now comes a SurveyUSA poll, conducted May 6-9, revealing that Whitman's once commanding lead over CA Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has all but evaporated. Where she led Poizner by 22% on April 22, Whitman is now said to hold a meager 2% lead. One suspects that, in the wake of a hard-hitting, front page May 12 Los Angeles Times article, "Whitman's words put spotlight on deeds," Whitman's once-commanding lead may soon become a deficit.

The Los Angeles Times followed up on May 13 with a separate piece, "Companies challenged Poizner business claims," which revealed that a major portion of Poizner's wealth was acquired when SnapTrack Inc., the company Poizner founded, was sold to Qualcomm. Poizner claims SnapTrack invented mobile-phone GPS technology. In pending lawsuits, other companies accused SnapTrack of infringing intellectual property rights, and, the Times reports, "as SnapTrack developed its GPS technology, Poizner faced another test of his entrepreneurial skills, as a special interest trying to bend the Washington regulatory process his way."

The drastic change in the recent public opinion polls is tied not only to the fact that her fellow billionaire Poizner unleashed his own paid-for propaganda (ad) blitz, deconstructing Whitman's one-sided narrative. Nor is the change tied only to hard-hitting, if overdue, front page newspaper exposés on the facts behind how these two rapacious "business people" amassed their fortunes.

Disturbingly, Poizner's late gain in the polls may be attributed to his open embrace of Arizona's version of apartheid South Africa's infamous "pass laws." Poizner's is a cynically calculated effort to scapegoat immigrants while deflecting attention from the true source of California's fiscal woes: the very same billionaire sociopath economics in which both he and Whitman amassed their fortunes...

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Thousands of military and Latino voters could be disenfranchised as court determines hastily scheduled contest fails to meet federal requirements of Voting Rights Act...
By Brad Friedman on 5/13/2010 5:50pm PT  

The disputed upcoming special election in California's Senate District 15 may be on hold, at least for a day or two, as a federal district court has ordered [PDF] the five counties involved in the election to withhold the distribution of absentee, overseas and military ballots, pending the results of a hearing now set for May 20th in federal district court.

Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel set next week's hearing, requiring the state "to show cause, if any they have, why they, their agents, servants, employees and those in active concert or participation with them, should not be restrained and enjoined pending trial of this action from accepting any ballots, including absentee ballots, or operating any polling place in connection with the special primary election" as currently scheduled.

The compressed schedule for the election has given rise to complaints from county registrars, concerns that the hastily set date for the contest would lead to disenfranchisement of overseas military voters, and a lawsuit filed by Hispanic voters charging the election fails to comply with federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Rather than consolidating the special election with pre-existing general election dates, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently declared the special election --- to fill a vacancy in the state Senate following his appointment of former State Senator Abel Maldonado as Lieutenant Governor --- would take place on June 22nd.

In two previous articles, The BRAD BLOG has detailed how the issue has rankled election officials and voters alike, yet the Governor's office has so far failed to make accommodations for those serious concerns from several different corners...

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Corporate greed masquerading as the 'Taxpayer's Right to Vote,' and another example of the corporate perversion of the 'citizens initiative' process in California...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/9/2010 7:19pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

On California's June ballot this year, a measure paid for and deceptively represented by one major corporate sponsor, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), purports to be a "Taxpayers Right to Vote Act." In truth, the initiative represents one corporation's attempt to pervert the "citizen's initiative" process by spending millions to deceive voters into believing they can push back against the vaguely socialist-sounding notion of "government-run electric service."

The measure is anything but a "Taxpayers Right to Vote Act," and that name itself has even been out-and-out rejected for use on the ballot by the state's Attorney General --- not that it has stopped PG&E from misleadingly selling it that way to the public in a multi-million dollar television ad buy and direct-mail propaganda campaign...

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Hispanic voting rights advocates, Democrats, seeking federal injunction of Schwarzenegger's compressed election schedule...
By Brad Friedman on 5/6/2010 2:41pm PT  

It's not just the troops and the election officials who are now acting on concerns of disenfranchisement. Now the Hispanic community and Democrats are charging the Governator's special election dates will "thwart voter turnout within minorities communities".

On the heels of The BRAD BLOG's coverage yesterday reporting on worries that thousands of overseas and military voters could be disenfranchised by CA Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's order for an early special election schedule in the state, and that election officials were "outraged" by the timing and concerned about the costs, minority groups and the Democratic Party are now filing suit to halt the impending election, charging the compressed dates are in violation of federal law.

A nine-page complaint [PDF] was filed in the Northern California U.S. District Court today by three Hispanic plaintiffs seeking "a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction and a permanent injunction" to halt the impending June 22nd special primary election date to fill a vacancy in Senate District 15 following the appointment of Abel Maldonado as Lt. Governor. The lawsuit is being funded by the state Democratic Party.

The suit charges that the short time-line for the special election schedule did not leave time for the required preclearance of the election dates under Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act. Monterey County, one of five included in SD 15, is covered by Section 5, a provision which requires the Dept. of Justice to pre-approve changes to voting laws in jurisdictions around the country where minorities have been historically disenfranchised.

Yesterday, retired twenty-year armed services veteran and Monterey talk-radio host Scott Dick detailed how the expedited special election schedule meant that ballots could not possibly be printed and sent to military family and personnel serving overseas prior to the 45-day minimum requirement of the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act. He charged that there will not be enough time for those voters to receive and return their ballots in time to be counted in the special election.

State election officials, The BRAD BLOG has learned, share similar worries...

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