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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, August 30, 2014
Erick Erickson's Global Warming Denialist Tantrum
Latest barometer of denialist desperation: The rightwing 'thought leader', as usual, is wrong on the facts and science, so he's just taking his ball and going home...
Video Captures GA Family Disowning, Assaulting 20-Year Old Gay Son
But there is a "happy" ending, of sorts, to this heartbreaking and disturbing story...
'Green News Report' 8/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
BP refinery explodes. Again.; UN report warns of 'irreversible' warming; Fines for oil, chem spills; 22% of world elec. is now green; PLUS: People's Climate March coming to NYC...
Previous GNRs: 8/26/14 - 8/21/14 - Archives...
Faking the Ferguson Docs:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad interviews open records advocate Charlie Grapski on his evidence that Ferguson and St. Louis County police are illegally withholding evidence in the killing of Michael Brown; Plus MUCH more...
Records Requests Suggest Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Involved in Cover-Up
How else to explain the missing details and required documentation of Officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown?...
'Green News Report' 8/26/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Napa earthquake is a warning for CA's nuke plants; Another coal plant bites the dust; Cutting emissions will save $$$; PLUS: Fighting drought with a 'salmon cannon'...Yep...
Previous GNRs: 8/21/14 - 8/19/14 - Archives...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Trouble keeping up with all the court cases barring, then allowing, then barring the GOP's Photo ID voting restrictions in Wisconsin? Let us catch you up quickly with the latest...
Siegelman Judge, Arrested For Beating His Wife, May Avoid Prosecution Altogether
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller checks in for 'treatment', may be able to duck prosecution...
Obama Orders Review of Police Militarization Program
In response to bi-partisan calls for reform and disturbing display by militarized local police in Ferguson, MO, the President takes aim at controversial Pentagon program...
Ryan Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 hopeful 'charms' elderly voters in FL, by ignoring them...
Perry Tells NH Businessmen His Felony Indictment Was for a 'Bribery' Charge
Is this another 'oops' moment from the Repub TX Governor and 2016 hopeful? Or something else entirely?...
'Green News Report' 8/21/14
Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; Solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and Demilitarizing the Police: KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Bradto discuss his new bill...
Republicans Call Ferguson Voter Registration 'Disgusting'
Rightwingers decry effort 'to register Democratic voters' following the killing of Michael Brown...
Seriously, Ferguson Police?
The front page of the Post-Dispatch reminds again how ridiculous the era of post-9/11 Wars has become; Plus: another comparison to the Bundy Bunch...
'Green News Report' 8/19/14
OR nixes coal export facility; July 2014 4th hottest; Fracking industry illegally using diesel, threatening water; PLUS GOP officials secretly accept climate science...
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...


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...

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

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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...

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

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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...

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

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June 22nd state Senate primary election date violates 45-day ballot requirement of federal law
UPDATED: County election officials 'outraged' by Governor's move...
By Scott Dick on 5/5/2010 1:43pm PT  

[UPDATED: Santa Cruz, CA, County Clerk/Registrar and Vice President of the CA Assoc. of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) Gail Pellerin saw our article just after it went up, and wrote to both thank us for covering it, and to express her outrage over the Governor's decision here. She points us to a letter sent by clerks to his office earlier this week, and also notes that "Military voters are definitely disenfranchised" by this move. See the UPDATE at the end of this article for more comments and detail from Pellerin. - BF ]

[UPDATED AGAIN: Hispanic voters file federal complaint, charging violation of Voting Rights Act. Details at bottom of article - BF]

-- Guest blogged by Scott Dick

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is effectively disenfranchising at least 2,046 overseas California voters around the world, including military personnel stationed in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan by calling a special election for June 22, 2010.

Background: The Senate seat from California's Senate District 15 was recently vacated when Schwarzenegger's nominee, Abel Maldonado, was confirmed and sworn in as the new Lieutenant Governor. He was appointed as a replacement to the elected John Garamendi who was recently elected to the U.S. Congress in a special election filling the seat of Ellen Tauscher who had been appointed by the Obama administration to a post in the U.S. State Department.

Schwarzenegger set the date for the special election to fill Maldonado's Senate District 15 seat as June 22, 2010, virtually eliminating the ability of overseas voters to participate in the election.

While not directly violating the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE Act) signed into law October 28, 2009, he is most certainly violating it in spirit. The law was designed to ensure the rights of overseas civilians and deployed military personnel to participate in federal, state and local elections. For federal elections it requires ballots to be sent out 45 days prior to an election to allow the Department of Defense time to process those ballots. If a state requests a waiver they must do so 65 days before the election. The law was passed with a 45 day minimum requirement for a very good reason --- a reason that Schwarzenegger seems willing to ignore, unless he can be convinced to change the date of the election, and quickly...

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

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Also: ACORN not dead yet!...
By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2010 6:32pm PT  
(ED NOTE 4/9/10: ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis was my guest on Wednesday night while I was guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show. My interview with her can now be heard here. - Brad)

Yesterday, Peter Hart, of the media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), flagged the New York Times' latest ACORN-related report for us and notes "how far the Times is from where it started on this story."

Yes, after a full six months of out-and-out misleading the public on the now-infamous ACORN "Pimp" Hoax by repeatedly misreporting that disgraced rightwing prankster and activist James O'Keefe had dressed as a 70's-era blaxploitation pimp while scamming low-level workers in ACORN offices --- and even as the Times finally conceded it was wrong on at least that point just two weeks ago --- the paper has still been standing by the misleading assertion that O'Keefe "clearly presented himself as" a pimp in those offices.

But the NYTimes' latest story is decidedly "pimp"-less and seems to tacitly serve as an admission that even that false narrative was previously misreported. Of course, they've yet to issue a public acknowledgment --- much less a correction, retraction, apology, or explanation --- for having gotten that point so wrong, for so long.

Last week's finding by the CA Attorney General, that ACORN committed "no violations of criminal law" in any of the illicitly and likely-illegally taped videos that O'Keefe and his partner Hannah Giles created in CA offices, may finally have convinced the people running the paper they had it wrong. At least if one notices the glaring absence of what wasn't reported this time around by the Times in its most recent story...

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

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A long-overdue indictment of the unabated, GOP-created, media-enabled, incalculably-damaging 'unmooring of politics from facts'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2010 8:05am PT  

On Friday night, responding to the CA AG's finding that the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax videos --- as created and published by righwing con-artists James O'Keefe, Hannah Giles, and Andrew Breitbart --- were precisely the hoax we'd long described them as, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow hit it out of the park, detailing precisely the reason we've been focused on this point for so long: "The triumph of fake politics...The unmooring of politics from facts," and the unforgivable truth that you've heard far more about the partisan-driven hoax/politics agenda in the media, than about the fact that that these things were all hoaxes.

Maddow takes the opportunity to highlight not only the "triumph" of the ACORN "Pimp" Hoax, but of other successful GOP-played/MSM-enabled scams such as "ClimateGate" (also near and dear to our hearts as we've covered that scam in great depth in our Green News Reports for months, most recently on Thursday), faked GOP outrage about recess appointments, health insurance reform, Miranda rights and civilian trials for accused terrorists, the stimulus bill, "death panels," Obama's birth certificate, supposed threats to the Second Amendment, armed IRS agents coming to get you, abuse of the census, Obama's "plans" to ban sport fishing, et al.

These things are, as she declares in no uncertain terms, "all bull." Yet, she adds, "there’s more bang for the political buck to make stuff up like this than to try to debate real problems in the real world. So just go with the bull"...


Our only complaint is that her indictment comes a month or two (at least) too late for victims of the GOP's ACORN scam, and that, other than Fox "News," she fails to call out the still-respected-but-shouldn't-be enablers of the scams in the first place --- in this case, for example, the still-misreporting New York Times.

If you can't watch the video above, or would just like to savor it and/or quote any of the exceedingly-quotable text to your erstwhile inexorably-brainwashed, fully-hoaxed, teabagging wingnut friends and family members, the text transcript is posted here...

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UPDATED: SacBee corrects their story. (That wasn't so hard now, was it, NYT?!)...
By Brad Friedman on 4/2/2010 12:03pm PT  

Is it really this hard for anybody in the corporate media --- the folks who actually get paid to do this job --- to get this story right??

From McClatchy/Sacramento Bee's much-linked coverage on yesterday's finding by the CA AG that ACORN workers in California, as seen in James O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart's "severely edited" pimp hoax videos, "committed no violation of criminal law":

But while McClatchy/SacBee misreports "O'Keefe...claimed he was a pimp," the report [PDF] released by CA AG Jerry Brown yesterday afternoon --- the very one that is being reported on in the article(!) --- notes quite specifically: "He never claimed he was a pimp."

Yeesh. Yet I'm the one who doesn't get paid to do this, so has to beg for donations every month! (Hint.)

The McClatchy/SacBee misreport was filed on their website last night. I notified the paper's editors, along with the article's reporter Jack Chang, about the error via email last night. As well last night, I called the paper, left a polite voice mail for their corrections editor, and then spoke personally to their City Desk editor who kindly thanked me for letting him know about the error. Today, via email, Chang kindly sent a thanks as well. As of 11:51am, however --- and dozens of dozens of misinformed readers having left comments on the article --- no correction has been made to the article on the SacBee's website.

Is it really this hard? Only took two-months for the New York Times to post its partial correction. Let's hope McClatchy/SacBee do the right thing a bit sooner.

* * *

UPDATE 2:40pm: Well, that was much easier. SacBee has now issued a correction which gets the story much closer to the actual facts...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/26/2010 2:40pm PT  

Just a quick note to mention I'll be presenting Saturday's (3/27) keynote address at the "Media Reform Summit" sponsored by CA Common Cause here in Los Angeles at Occidental College @ 11am. The theme of this year's conference is, appropriately enough, "Preserving Democracy."

After appearing on panels at each of the past two year's conferences, I'm honored to have been invited back to offer this year's keynote and am much looking forward to it. (Here's some video/text-transcript from my first appearance two years ago, on a panel alongside then-Congresswoman, now-Sec. of Labor Hilda Solis.)

If you're in the 'hood and can drop by, please do! I'll work to make it worth your time! More details, including directions, other speakers/panels, etc. are all available here...

* * *

POST-CONFERENCE UPDATE:

Video of keynote address is now posted here...

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If elected, plans 'investigation' of Obama birth certificate
Says GOP primary opponent ineligible, committed voter fraud...
By Desi Doyen on 3/18/2010 4:36pm PT  

Guest blogged by DES

In case it seemed as if California Republican primary politics weren't quite weird enough, "Queen of the Birthers" Orly Taitz has lurched into the breach. From The Orange County Register:

‘Birther’ Lawyer Taitz Running for Secretary of State

Laguna Niguel lawyer Orly Taitz, who’s gained a national following for efforts to prove Barack Obama’s presidency is illegitimate, has qualified to run for California secretary of state, said Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley.

In launching her campaign to be the state’s top elections official, Taitz is alleging that fellow Republican candidate Damon Dunn, a former NFL player living in Irvine, is ineligible to seek the GOP nomination. She says he’s committed voter and election fraud.

RAW STORY reports that if elected, Taitz plans to "use her office to pursue an investigation of Obama's citizenship." Insert your own punchline here.

If the Israeli-born Taitz receives the nomination in the state's June primary, she would face presumptive Democratic opponent Sec. of State Debra Bowen in November. Bowen is running for her second term as California's chief election official.

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Carly Fiorina's 'Best Web Ad Ever' Against Opponent Tom Campbell in the GOP Primary Battle for U.S. Senate in California...
By Brad Friedman on 2/3/2010 3:55pm PT  

Wow. These guys ain't fooling around.

If the Republican Gubernatorial primary candidate Carly Fiorina is willing to put out a web ad like this, against her Republican opponent Tom Campell in the race for the GOP nomination to run against Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer this year, do the Democrats have any idea of the crazy train they're about to be barreling into?...


[Hat-tip TPM who tweets it as "Possibly the best web ad ever". We might have to agree.]

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'Election Verification Exit Poll' analysis show tallies of 'Marriage Equality Ban' off by 7.5%, as high as 17.7% in some L.A. precincts...
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2010 4:45pm PT  

In the November 2008 election, the tabulation of votes for California's Proposition 8 --- the controversial ballot measure which resulted in the repeal of marriage equality by, for the first time, amending the state's constitution to deny the rights of Californians --- was "probably corrupted".

That's the finding of a newly released study issued by a coalition of election integrity organizations, as based on their analysis of an Election Verification Exit Poll conducted in Los Angeles on the day of the 2008 general election. "An investigation is warranted," the study concludes, into the evidence which suggests a likelihood that either "fraud or gross errors" occurred in the tabulation of that specific ballot measure.

The complete 49-page study has now been released on a new website, WasProp8Straight.org.

The poll was conducted on Election Day by Election Defense Alliance, Protect California Ballots, and ElectionIntegrity.org and was designed and researched with the help of at least one well known exit pollster, Ken Warren of St. Louis University's The Warren Poll, for the express purpose of measuring the accuracy of the reported vote count. It functioned beautifully in general, by confirming the results of most of the issues and races on the ballot. On Proposition 4, for example, which concerned a similar hot-button issue --- parental notification for abortion --- polling results and official election results matched within 2%, well within the expected margin of error.

However, for Proposition 8 only, the official results varied from the Election Verification Exit Poll by an average of 7.75% in the 19 precincts polled. In some cases, the discrepancy was as high as 17.7%. That is, of course, far outside of the margin of expected error and certainly worthy of further investigation by officials.

The creators of the poll, along with the analysts of the results and the authors of the study, seem to have gone out of their way to preempt the usual reasons for questioning and/or dismissing the methodology and findings of such polls. For example, as noted in the group's press release [emphasis added]...

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

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Open letter from PDA details 'appalling record' of Democrat described by PDA-backed challenger as 'Joe Lieberman of the House'
Group seeks signatures in support of 'open letter' to Congresswoman, Co-Chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus...
By Brad Friedman on 1/11/2010 3:05pm PT  

-- By Brad Friedman and Ernest A. Canning

As The BRAD BLOG reported over the weekend, an internecine firefight has blown up among progressives who support the candidacy of Marcy Winograd against entrenched "Blue Dog" Jane Harman (D-CA), and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), long regarded as one of the more progressive members of the U.S. Congress.

Woolsey, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and a longtime Advisory Board Member of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), stunned progressives over the last several days when it was revealed that she was endorsing, and would be participating in a fundraiser for Harman next Saturday, January 16th, as noted in our report yesterday.

In the wake of Woolsey's curious support for the seven term Democrat, PDA is issuing an email blast to supporters tonight, asking them to sign on to an open letter (posted in full below) demanding Woolsey withdraw from the upcoming event, as well as drop her endorsement of Harman who will be challenged this year by Winograd, a longtime leader in PDA's Los Angeles chapter, and the first candidate of 2010 to be endorsed by the group. Winograd ran an unsuccessful challenge against Harman in 2006, but has begun her campaign earlier this year, and hopes to capitalize on growing progressive outrage at entrechned Congressional Democrats such as Harman. In a recent letter to supporters, Winograd described Harman as "the Joe Lieberman of the House."

In the open letter posted here, initially signed by Tim Carpenter, PDA's National Director, Mimi Kennedy and PDA's Advisory Board Chair, the group, describes the process signing the letter as "painful," but describes the negative response from members to the Woolsey endorsement of Harman, and asks for her to withdraw from the event immediately.

"The tone and emphasis of the responses vary, but the overwhelming gist is clear," Carpenter and Kennedy write to Woolsey, "The progressive base is upset about your scheduled involvement [in the January 16 fund-raising event] and hopes that you will withdraw from this event. As an organization, Progressive Democrats of America joins in that request."...

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

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Primary battle looms once more between eight-term House Dem and progressive challenger...
By Ernest A. Canning on 12/29/2009 4:05pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

A little more than seven months after launching her second attempt to unseat California's powerful eight-term Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Jane Harman, the PDA-backed Marcy Winograd recently sent out a fundraising email in which she described Harman as the Joe Lieberman of the House.

In the campaign letter, Winograd notes Harman's claim in her 1998 election, as reported by the Los Angeles Times: "I was flattered to be introduced in the last election as the best Republican in the Democratic primary."

The Harman campaign did not respond to an email requesting comment on the quote above, though a spokesperson from the Winograd camp sent us a copy of the archived 1998 LA Times report on the Congresswoman's comments to "several hundred civic leaders" in downtown Los Angeles, containing her direct quote which ends with Harman adding: "I accept."

The race presents a classic David and Goliath match up. With a net worth ranging between $236 million to $558 million, Harman, is said to be one of the richest members of Congress. Winograd, by contrast, is running a bottom-up progressive campaign of the type I advocated for recently in "Progressives of America - Unite!". The match-up presents a stark contrast in directions for a conflicted Democratic Party...

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

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And an effort to remove the 2/3 majority vote required to make fiscal changes to the budget...
By Ernest A. Canning on 11/20/2009 11:27am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

California, a state which, at $1.8 trillion, has the world's eighth largest economy, now finds itself at the edge of an economic abyss.

Despite Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Draconian cuts to health care and education of more than $15 billion, purportedly to close a $26.3 billion gap in the state's finances, despite a pending 32% increase in student tuition at all University of California campuses and three "furlough" days per month in which state employees are forced to stay home without pay, California now faces a 2010 budget deficit estimated to range from $21 billion to $25 billion.

As shocking as it may seem, this looming fiscal catastrophe did not arrive by accident. It is, according to a number of progressive policy experts, the intended product of a Republican-led privatization scheme...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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