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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, April 16, 2014
'Green News Report' 4/15/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
Previous GNRs: 4/10/14 - 4/8/14 - Archives...
'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
PowerLine's hyper-partisan John Hinderaker admits Cliven Bundy 'doesn't have a [legal] leg to stand on', but digs deep to find a reason - any reason - to defend the scofflaw anyway...
Sunday News Shows Fail to Mention U.S. Senate CIA Torture & Detention Report
Despite U.S. and international crimes outlined in the findings, based on first-hand CIA docs, not a single Sunday show even brought it up...
NSA Knew About, Exploited Internet Open Source Bug for Years
What part of "national security' does the National Security Agency not understand?!...
Destroying America: 'Obamacare' Kills Another Business
Free charitable medical clinic in rural Arkansas to close doors after health insurance reform law leads to lack of clientele...
'Green News Report' 4/10/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
RW Heartland Institute says 'climate change will be good for you!'; Russia threatens natural gas supplies to Ukraine, Europe; PLUS: Attack of the Tumbleweeds! (No, really!)...
Previous GNRs: 4/8/14 - 4/3/14 - Archives...
'Green News Report' 4/8/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Study: CNN, Fox 'News' FAIL on climate; CNN looks for plane, finds ocean of garbage; PLUS: Energy co. receives record fine for 85 years of toxic waste (& couldn't be happier about it)...
Previous GNRs: 4/3/14 - 4/1/14 - Archives...
Christie's E-Cig 'Sin Tax' Due to 'Public Health' Concerns?
After slashing anti-smoking programs, 'conservative' Christie admin offers absurd reason for massive new tax, but NJ Star-Ledger ain't buyin' it. And neither are we...
Federal Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
Courts rules TX legislators must provide documentation related to passage of polling place Photo ID restrictions which may prove the discriminatory intent of the new GOP law...
'A New Kind of Liberty' for the Kochs and Anyone Else Who Can Afford to Buy It
Have the rightwing judicial activists on the Supreme Court made you feel freer yet?...
'McCutcheon' Mints Millions for Mass Media
Veteran journalist and media activist Sue Wilson explains how the new U.S. Supreme Court ruling is a windfall for the MSM. She also has an idea what to do about it...
'Green News Report' 4/3/14
Startling U.N. climate change report; Kochs enviro champs, say Kochs; TX wind power record; PLUS: ExxonMobil says 'F#@K you! We're ExxonMobil!'...
Reproductive Rights & Campaign Finance Law: KFPK 'BradCast'
Katie Klabusich says she's being 'targeted' by Eric Scheidler's anti-choice group. They both join Brad. PLUS: Ian Millhiser on SCOTUS McCutcheon ruling...
SCOTUS 'MCCUTCHEON' RULING TRASHES EVEN MORE CAMPAIGN FINANCE LIMITS
'Free speech' for the super rich wins again at the Roberts Supreme Court...
'Green News Report' 4/1/14
It's our special 'April Fox Day' edition of the GNR! Celebrating the anti-scientists and fossil-fueled fools at Fox 'News'!...
FCC Rolls Back Corporate TV Consolidation
Under its new chairman, the federal agency finally takes one small step to fulfill their mandate of assuring the public airwaves are actually used in the public interest...
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
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'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...


Company Recommends 'Rescheduling Elections,' Calling Voters to 'Re-Vote' as Part of Memory Card Failure Procedures; We Recommend Suing the Bastards...
ALSO: Voter-Supression Tactics in Play Around the US Today...
By Brad Friedman on 11/6/2007 4:22pm PT  


A good report from a couple of days ago from the I-Team in Cleveland, Ohio. Unfortunately, they tend to run such reports just before Election Days, when it's too damned late to do a damn thing about it.

Nonetheless, some very good stuff here. Of particular note are the points from Diebold's recommendations which "appear to border on the absurd," that should voting machine memory cards be lost, "elections must be re-scheduled." Or if they fail, as our recent story concerning Diebold's admissions about memory card failures in Florida pointed towards, the company says "all voters will have to be called in to re-vote."

Heckuva voting system guys. Check out the report, above right.

NOTE: Discussion of suing Diebold comes up in this piece yet again. Along with the same concerns, as heard elsewhere, about "the Catch-22" of suing voting machine vendors. Namely, counties are afraid to sue the company they rely on to run their next election! The counties and the vendors are "joined at the hip," as the I-Team report points out. Call it a soft form of extortion, really.

If you haven't already, please sign VoterAction's petition calling on Congress to "conduct a full investigation into the dangers associated with the privatization of our public elections and to determine whether certain US voting systems companies have committed crimes under federal and state anti-fraud laws."

For an early look at concerns, largely of voter-suppression issues, around the country, Alternet has a very good state-by-state preview this morning.

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Nelson and Co-Sponsor Whitehouse Rewrite Originally Introduced Bill to Do Away with Discredited Systems by 2012 and 'Any Subsequent Year'
By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2007 11:07pm PT  

-- By Brad Friedman

After months of being told over and over by Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) office, People for the American Way (PFAW), and many of the other most ardent supporters of Holt's flawed Election Reform Bill (HR811) that "there is no support in Congress for a ban on DREs," it looks like they must have been wrong. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and co-sponsor Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) filed such a bill today.

Here's the complete bill [PDF] which we've yet to read in full. But note this item from page 41, Line 7:

RESTRICTION ON USE OF DIRECT RECORDING ELECTRONIC VOTING SYSTEMS -
A direct recording electronic voting system may not be used to administer any election for Federal office held in 2012 or any subsequent year.

A ban on such machines, finally? Yes! By 2012? Unfortunately, yes. But let's overlook that last point for a moment.

In a statement issued by Nelson today, pointing out that DRE (often referred to as "touch-screen") voting systems are "unreliable and vulnerable to error," the senator says, "The bottom line is we have to ensure every vote is counted – and, counted properly...Citizens must have confidence in the integrity of their elections.”

The new language banning DREs was added today to a previous version of the same bill which Nelson had introduced originally in early Summer. This version "would be the first [bill] to seek a ban on electronic touch-screen voting machines in federal elections nationwide," according to his statement, which adds that the language was updated after a recent meeting with Florida's Republican Secretary of State Kurt Browning, once an ardent support of DRE voting systems.

When Nelson's original version of the legislation was introduced some months ago, it was largely a "clone version" of Holt's original HR811 introduced in the House, but with a number of extra provisions addressing concerns of voter intimidation and suppression.

Little attention had been given to Nelson's bill at the time, since the Rules Committee was regarded as having jurisdiction for any Election Reform bills in the Senate, and the committee chair, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), had made clear she intended to introduce her own version of Election Reform as the Senate counterpart to Holt's. She eventually introduced S. 1487, which has been subsequently criticized by Election Integrity advocates as being even more flawed then Holt's much-criticized bill.

(FULL DISCLOSURE: We were invited to work on the Holt bill prior to its introduction, and succeeded in adding several much-improved provisions. Yet the bill, as currently written --- and far more so since being drastically watered down throughout the committee process --- has failed to garner our support.)

DREs: "Not a Reasonable Voting System"

Neither Feinstein's nor Holt's bill had called for a ban on DRE voting systems, however, despite an outcry among Election Integrity advocates and a host of computer scientists and security experts who argued that DREs were vulnerable to hacking, non-transparent, prone to error, antithetical to democracy, and thus simply could not be used safely in elections. With or without a so-called "Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail" (VVPAT) printer attached.

Johns Hopkins computer professor Avi Rubin testified earlier this year that "after four years of studying the issue, I now believe that a DRE with a VVPAT is not a reasonable voting system."

Stanford professor and VerifiedVoting.org founder David Dill, arguing in favor of the Holt bill, admitted, "I would personally prefer to see optical scan machines used nationwide."

And former legislative director of VoteTrustUSA.org Warren Stewart, now also of VerifiedVoting, had told a Senate panel earlier this year that while there were disagreements among some in the EI movement, most had agreed that touch-screen systems must not not be used. "While this broad based movement embraces a wide range of proposals and positions," he testified, "it is unified in the conclusion that the direct electronic recording of votes to computer memory is inimical to democracy."

And yet, all three of the above advocates, along with many others, continued to argue --- while failing to offer any actual evidence for the claim --- that there was simply no support for the idea of a DRE ban in either house of the U.S. Congress.

All the while, The BRAD BLOG had maintained that they, and the other Holt supporters, had fallen victim to a hoax by People for the American Way (PFAW). The popular public advocacy group had long pushed the unsupported notion that there was no congressional support for such a ban, in order to see the bill passed specifically without such a ban. It was one of several false notions being forwarded by the group in favor of the bill, as we argued both here and at Alernet early in the year.

A careful examination of PFAW's on-the-record statements, and numerous on and off-the-record conversations with their Executive Director and legislative leaders by The BRAD BLOG over many months, revealed that PFAW (almost inexplicably) has actually been advocating in favor of the use of dangerous DRE voting systems in American elections. It's fair to say that Holt's bill had thus been held hostage to ensure that such systems would not be banned.

But then came the fallout from the failed 13th Congressional District election last November in Nelson's home state, followed by California Sec. of State Debra Bowen's landmark scientific findings, Rep. Susan Davis's (D-CA) amendment this past summer, and a killer editorial from the New York Times as the tide began to slowly turn...

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

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Letter from Sec. of State, Obtained by The BRAD BLOG, Says America's Largest E-Voting Vendor Failed - Yet Again - To Deliver Required Materials to State Testing Board
Company Previously Decertified After Lawsuit Found Little or No Testing Performed by State in 2006...
By Brad Friedman on 10/25/2007 9:39pm PT  

Once again, the country's largest voting machine vendor, Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S), has failed in yet another state certification process, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

In a letter faxed to the company yesterday, Colorado's Secretary of State Mike Coffman informed the Omaha, Nebraska, company that the state has suspended the certification process of ES&S's voting systems due to a failure to provide required documentation and other materials needed to complete testing. That, after several previous deadline extensions had been granted.

"[T]here is a history of coordination issues with your company," Coffman wrote to ES&S's Vice President of Certification, Steve Pearson, in the two-page letter, before detailing a litany of problems they've had with the company throughout the testing period.

"Those issues include the following: changing project managers multiple times since April, providing incorrect programming of required databases for testing, providing incorrect ballots for testing, failing to provide required documentation of Federal testing, and test failures requiring extensive machine servicing," wrote Coffman.

The complete letter is posted at the end of this article.

The testing of Colorado's systems comes after all of the state's voting systems were decertified by a state judge just prior to last year's November election. In the 2006 lawsuit, brought by legal e-voting watchdog VoterAction.org on behalf of several Colorado voters, the judge found that the state's certification process amounted to little more than opening the box, checking for manuals, turning the system on and off and stamping it as good-to-go.

As the finding in the lawsuit came just prior to the November general election, the state's e-voting systems were allowed for use one more time before all such systems were automatically decertified, to allow the testing process to begin again afterwards --- legitimately this time.

Since then, all of the companies whose systems are being tested in the state have delayed in turning over needed materials, prompting speculation from e-voting critics that, with elections pending, they may be purposely delaying the process in hopes of running out the clock.

But similar failures by ES&S to cooperate with state officials around the country have now become legion.

The latest mess in Colorado echoes closely similar problems with the company as seen in other states over the last year. Just a brief sampling of some of those extraordinary failures include...

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

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Earlier Recommendations Ignored by Governor; Equipment, Personnel Unavailable, Undeployed, Late in Coming
Failures of County Supervisors Also Cited as 'Too Little, Too Late'...
By Miriam Raftery on 10/24/2007 10:05am PT  

Special to The BRAD BLOG by Miriam Raftery from San Diego, CA

“It’s like Armageddon,” Jill Michaels said, after watching her home burn to the ground in the Harris fire. In the early hours of the worst fire in California history, the Michaels family received no evacuation warning and found exit routes blocked, forcing them to turn back to their home in Potrero. Now, the Michaels are among half a million evacuees who have fled four raging wildfires, the worst fire disaster in California history. Worse even than the 2003 Cedar fire, which until now held that shameful record.

San Diego County now has more refugees than New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. While reported loss of life thus far remains low, hundreds of thousands of acres have been scorched and countless people will soon return home--only to find themselves homeless.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and local officials have made media appearances claiming credit for swiftly responding to the disaster. “There is much more equipment available, more manpower is available, quicker action,” Schwarzenegger said, according to the Associated Press.

What the Governor failed to mention is that he vetoed four bills that would have increased staffing and fire resources after the Cedar Fire, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars. A fifth bill, signed by Schwarzenegger, requires local governments to first submit safety plans to the California Department of Forestry and will not take effect until 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported in a May 20, 2007 article titled “Fire danger acute as 2003 lessons fade.” That article has since disappeared off the newspaper’s website, but a copy is here.

The same story cited Dallas Jones, former director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and current official with California Professional Firefighters union. Jones damned Schwarzenegger for failing to provide additional firetrucks. “How many years are we since the ’03 fire siege?” he asked, “and so far, nothing.”

Other unfulfilled recommendations made to Schwarzenegger by his Blue Ribbon Fire Commission include replacement of aging fire helicopters, increasing staffing to assure four person crews on each state fire engine sent to major wildfires, and nighttime air drops.

A national contract fleet of heavy air tankers has fallen from 41 to 16 in the last five years, with aging aircraft deemed unsafe and grounded. The state firefighting fleet has not replaced two air tankers that crashed, the L.A. Times reported.

CNN reports that only 1,500 National Guard have been sent to assist Californians during the current wildfire crisis—less than 1/10 of the state’s 20,000 National Guard members. Clearly having the bulk of our National Guards forces deployed to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan have hindered emergency response here at home.

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

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Most of the 500,000 Evacuees Are from Republican Enclaves...
By Jon Ponder on 10/23/2007 3:26pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review

On his radio gabfest yesterday, CNN's resident rightwing crackpot Glenn Beck implied that because residents of Malibu "hate America," they were therefore unluckily suffering the loss of their homes to wildfires:

I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire [sic] today.

Leaving aside the fact that there isn't a "forest" within miles of Malibu, just seconds before that outrageous, though half-baked, assertion, Beck made a statement that contradicted what he was about to say:

[We're] all one America, that just because I disagree with you doesn't mean you hate America, and I love America. We all love America. We just disagree on how we should function...

He then contradicted himself in the same sentence a second time, saying he was not referring to Democrats but to nefarious people (liberals? terrorists?) who pretend to be Democrats:

There are a few people that hate America. But I don't think the Democrats are those. I think there are those posing as Democrats that are like that.

Huh?...

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

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2008 Ballot Measure, Previously Declared Defunct, May Have Found New GOP Life...
By Brad Friedman on 10/23/2007 2:37pm PT  

When we wrote of the reported "death" of the GOP initiative/scam to split California's Electoral College votes we urged caution, suggesting that these guys don't just give up that easily. Not just because they get caught. As they did when it appeared an out-of-state Rudy Giuliani supporter appeared to secretly be behind the attempt to see the measure placed on next year's ballot.

The initiative, if it gains enough signatures, would make its way onto the ballot in next February's Presidential Primary Election. If passed, it would require that California's enormous number of electoral votes be apportioned as based on Congressional district support. That, instead of the current winner-take-all system used in the state and in the vast majority of the country. Critics, not without appropriate justification, have viewed the initiative as an attempt to steal the 2008 Presidential Election for the Republicans.

Late last night, Sacramento Bee reported that the initiative may be back on track, having found new, deep-pocket funders. Today, "The Maven" at dKos offers many more details.

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By Brad Friedman on 10/22/2007 7:51pm PT  

Just a quick note in response to those who have queried. The entire "staff" and resources at The BRAD BLOG World News Headquarters are just fine, even as fires continue to rage across the state. The closest burn to us, at this time, would be out in Malibu, as things back here closer to Hollywood remain quiet for the moment.

It continues to be incredibly dry and hot out here though, and the winds, at times, have been extraordinary. While some of the cable news channels have picked up much more today in their coverage, things have been largely wall-to-wall on local stations since yesterday. Rightly so.

Given the pictures we're seeing, it's really bad out there --- an utter conflagration --- and like nothing we've seen in the 10-plus years that we've been in the Golden State. But we are safe and sound at the moment. And our thanks to those who have asked.

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Riverside County, California's Registrar of Voters Continues to Prove Herself to be an Unmitigated Disaster...
By Brad Friedman on 10/16/2007 6:58pm PT  

No time for the moment (particularly as we remain a bit under the weather) to recap the long and storied history of the national embarrassment that elections in Riverside County, California, have become. So for today, we'll just share links with you to two of the county's latest missteps.

Both of the latest boners were overseen --- yet again --- by Registrar of Voters Barbara Dunmore. The poor woman is clearly in way over her head and should --- as the former managing editor of the Press-Enterprise called for just over a week ago --- resign immediately. Or be fired. For the good of everyone.

Here's Dunmore last week inventing an ingeniously obnoxious scheme to raise $6.40 (yes, that number is no typo) for the county.

Here's Dunmore today, making ink yet again (almost literally), admitting that she screwed up --- again --- this time on the absentee ballots just sent out to her voters.

And here's hoping the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, no great geniuses themselves, finally realize it's time to find someone whose actually up to the job.

We shouldn't be too harsh, perhaps. After all, Dunmore took the job over from predecessor Mischelle Townsend, infamous for overseeing Riverside's ignominious place as the first county in the nation to go all touch-screen DRE. A $30 million disaster, that. But even more endearingly, Townsend once let fly with one of the greatest e-voting quotes of all time, during an interview with the filmmakers of HBO's Hacking Democracy (as seen on the DVD bonus footage).

Said Townsend with a straight face (but you should try not to laugh too hard): "Electronic touch-screen ballots are 100% accurate. We've not seen a single example in which their accuracy can be disputed."

Good luck, Riverside! Looks like you're gonna be needing it for quite a while at this rate!

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As Clear Channel Signals a Flip to Sports, Only One Presidential Candidate Has Stepped up to Support Balance on the People's Airwaves in the Nation's 6th Largest City...
By Brad Friedman on 10/10/2007 2:45pm PT  

In a letter sent to station management, as The BRAD BLOG reported in August, former Democratic Senator from Alaska, Mike Gravel, correctly wrote: "The increasing monopolization of the mainstream media today demands that we stand up for independent-minded, progressive voices out there like KLSD AM 1360 in San Diego."

He was the only Presidential Candidate, to our knowledge, to utter a word about it.

As reports emerge that progressive radio talker Ed Schultz' audience now matches Bill O'Reilly's, one has to wonder what the hell the Democrats --- specifically the rest of the Democratic Presidential candidates --- are thinking, as Clear Channel prepares to flip the only progressive talk station in the nation's sixth largest city over to an all-sports format any day now.

The busy Internet rumors suggest it could happen as early as this week. Station insiders have told The BRAD BLOG it's more likely to happen on November 1st "at the earliest", as the corporate bosses at Clear Channel get ducks in a row for what is currently seen as an "inevitable" flip.

It'll be one less major market for Big Ed, one of the Democratic party's biggest and most effective supporters. Though O'Reilly will, no doubt, remain on the air in San Diego, despite the damage and shame his irresponsible "reporting" brings to our Republic.

In late August, we detailed the first indications that corporate media behemoth, Clear Channel, was preparing to dump the progressive talk format at AM 1360 KLSD in San Diego. Citizens were outraged, signed petitions, wrote letters to station management, created websites and showed up at rallies to protest the imminent shut down of the station.

At the time, we suggested to both organizers of the protests and station personnel that they join with Air America (who has several shows airing on the station) to invite the Democratic Presidential candidates out to San Diego for an Emergency Debate focusing on one of the very reasons our country is in the mess that it is: Corporate Consolidation of the Public Airwaves.

It seems quite clear that such consolidation has not been in the best interest of the people who own the airwaves. And further, it seems clear that the corporate interests who lease access to that spectrum, from the people, don't give a damn about such interests.

And yet, to our knowledge, in the nearly two months since Clear Channel indicated they were preparing to flip the station format, only one Democratic Presidential candidate, Gravel, has understood the importance about speaking out against this outrage.

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

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Tests Run in Riverside County On Sequoia Vote Counters Which May Be Purchased To Tabulate Future Voting
By Alan Breslauer on 10/10/2007 10:16am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


KTLA News reports on the rush to prepare paper ballots for upcoming elections, including next February's California presidential primary now that Secretary of State Debra Bowen decertified electronic voting in 29 counties because the machines proved vulnerable to hackers.

The piece also features Riverside County election integrity activist (and hero) Tom Courbat of SAVE R VOTE who raises concerns about Sequoia's role in counting the paper ballots, "when these ballots go into electronic tabulating machines there is no way to tell whether or not they have been programmed to flip the vote and rig the election." While Registrar of Voters, Barbara Dunmore, agrees with Courbat about the vulnerability of electronic machines, she believes election officials have put in place safeguards that will ensure fair elections.

For more on Courbat's tireless efforts to protect democracy in Riverside County see this video mashup.

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U.S. Rep from the Golden State Makes Unsubstantiated Claim at Last Week's Republican PBS Debate...
By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2007 11:48am PT  

At last Thursday's Republican Debate --- the one which the four Republican front-runners refused to attend --- sponsored by PBS and hosted by (egad!) African-American broadcaster Tavis Smiley, the question of Photo ID restrictions on voters was raised by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Cynthia Tucker.

California Rep. Duncan Hunter's answer was interesting. And it's no small matter given that trying to disenfranchise Democratic-leaning voters seems to be Strategy #1 (once again, but moreso than ever) for the desperate GOP in 2008.

That's just one of the reasons why Barack Obama's block of the Dem "deal" to slide through the nomination of Bush's evil GOP anti-voter zealot, Hans von Spakovsky, to the FEC today is so important.

Tucker's question from last Thursday: "Many voting rights advocates are worried about rigid voter ID laws which require photo ID like a driver's license. Are you concerned that some eligible voters will be denied the right to vote simply because they don't have a driver's license?"

Hunter's imaginative answer: "We have right now a real danger of people that are illegally in the country being rounded up, herded into the polls, we've seen that in California, voting illegally. That disenfranchises everybody in that community."

Really? We've "seen that in California," have we? Undocumented (illegal) aliens being "rounded up [and] herded into the polls" and "voting illegally"?

Living out here in the Golden State, we hadn't heard of that one. And we do follow these issues fairly closely. So we checked with Hunter's campaign to find out if they could offer any examples of such illegal votes from herded aliens in our state...

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

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Report Released Today Says More Testing Needed of ES&S Voting Machines to Determine Cause of Massive, Still Unexplained Undervote
One Year Later and Republican in Disputed Election Still Sitting, Voting in Congress...
By Brad Friedman on 10/2/2007 7:36pm PT  

As we near the one year mark since some 18,000 votes inexplicably disappeared in Sarasota County, Florida, on the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) touch-screen voting machines used in the U.S. House Election for the state's 13th Congressional District, more study is still needed to determine whether or not the voting machines were at fault, according to the report released today by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Even with the additional testing, the GAO admits, it will be impossible to determine for certain whether the touch-screen machines caused the extraordinarily high undervote race in the election.

The GAO's report [PDF] was presented to a Congressional task force investigating the challenge brought by Democratic candidate Christine Jennings, under the Federal Contested Elections Act, after the certified tally between her and her Republican opponent, Vern Buchanan, was reported by the state to be a slim 369 vote margin.

No reasonable explanation for the massive undervote --- found only in that particular contest, only in the Sarasota portion of the race, and only on the touch-screen ballots there (as opposed to the paper-based absentee ballots) --- has yet been proven by anyone.

The GAO has asked the task force to allow them to conduct further testing of the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen machines, in three specific areas, though they admit while "the proposed tests could help provide increased assurance, they would not provide absolute assurance that the iVotronic DREs did not cause the large undervote in Sarasota County."

Determining for certain whether the machines caused the problem would be "impossible," according to the GAO analysis, because they are "unable to recreate the conditions of the election in which the undervote occurred." Ah, the trouble with touch-screens.

As well, the report determined that "some of the prior tests and reviews conducted by the State of Florida and Sarasota County provide assurance that certain components of the voting systems in Sarasota County functioned correctly, but they are not enough to provide reasonable assurance that the iVotronic DREs did not contribute to the undervote."

While the Congressional task force has given permission for the GAO to proceed with their additional testing of the DREs, Jennings has already announced her intentions to run again in 2008 and Buchanan has voted for almost a full year with the Republican House caucus. And Democrats in the House prepare to vote on legislation which would allow the same faulty technology to be used in further elections.

QUESTIONS ABOUT ES&S CONTINUE

Among the unanswered questions in any of the FL-13 reports so far, is whether or not the source code reviewed in previous studies was the same as the code actually in use in the machines on Election Day. Recent news out of California demonstrates that ES&S has a prior history of playing fast and loose with different versions of hardware and software used on their machines in elections.

As well, reading past the summary section of the GAO report reveals another troubling disclosure by the nation's largest voting machine vendor...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2007 10:18pm PT  

LA Times is reporting tonight that the good guys may have won one for a change...

BREAKING NEWS: Electoral initiative backers give up

Plagued by a lack of money, supporters of a statewide initiative drive to change the way California's 55 electoral votes are apportioned, first revealed here by Top of the Ticket in July, are pulling the plug on that effort.

In an exclusive report to appear on this website late tonight and in Friday's print editions, The Times' Dan Morain reports that the proposal to change the winner-take-all electoral vote allocation to one by congressional district is virtually dead with the resignation of key supporters, internal disputes and a lack of funds.

The scam of the attempted Electoral College coup was best exposed in August by Hendrik Hertzberg at New Yorker and more recently found by SF Chronicle to have been backed by a mysteriously funded Missouri(!) front group tied to Rudolph Giuliani.

More at the Times' blog, though we'd urge caution. GOP attempts to steal 2008 any way they can will not end here, not by a long shot, even if this particular initiative really is dead.

A leading opponent of the measure, Democratic consultant Chris Lehane, told the Times, "We want to to make sure this is not the Freddie Kruger of initiatives...that comes back to life. We'll continue to monitor it."

As will we. Good on the Dems for (maybe) nipping this one in the bud...for a change.

ReddIt this story!



Five False Voter Signatures Gathered for 75 Cents a Piece in 2006...And Why It Matters in 2008 (And in Ohio!)
By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2007 5:32pm PT  

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen's Election Fraud Unit has just announced that felony charges have been filed against a Sacramento woman who appears to have forged the names of five voters while gathering signatures for a 2006 ballot initiative.

The initiative was sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), which hired the woman to gather signatures for a petition to get the initiative onto the ballot. She earned 75 cents per signature, netting her a total of $3.75 from the allegedly fraudulent signatures, according to the press release just sent to The BRAD BLOG by the SoS's office. (Complete press release posted at end of article.)

The signatures were excluded before the initiative qualified for the ballot, which eventually passed during the June 2006 election.

So why all the effort and resources expended to bring felony charges for such a paltry sum, for an election that's already over, particularly when the signatures weren't even used?

The reason, as we see it, is two-fold. And there are lessons to be learned from both explanations. And not just in California where powerful GOP operatives are hoping to gain enough signatures to put an Electoral College busting measure on the June 2008 ballot in desperate and cynical hopes of splitting the Golden State's electoral vote on a proportional basis in order to game the 2008 Presidential Election.

The new Secretary of State of Ohio would do well to take away the important lesson, once again from her sister in Sacramento...

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

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Santa Cruz, California's Election Clerk Comes Back for Another Helping...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2007 3:58pm PT  

[UPDATED POST-SHOW]

Santa Cruz County Clerk, Gail Pellerin joined us on the Peter B. Collins Show again tonight, live, to follow up on last week's interesting and rather spirited (at times, contentious-ish) hour.

The audio archive and full text transcript of last week's hour is posted here if you missed it.

The audio from this week's show, along with the transcript, courtesy of Santa Cruz voter Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us.

Since last Friday's show, CA SoS Debra Bowen has pronounced that the voting machine "sleepovers" Pellerin told us she'd planned for her Sequoia voting systems again in 2008 "don't comply with the security requirements" for those voting systems in California.

As well, we've gotten the opportunity to chat a bit via email with Pellerin since then, and are encouraged that we can begin working more together than apart, as is necessary, I think, for Election Integrity advocates and Elections Officials. It's the voting machine companies who are the real villains in this matter, and they've been quite successful at driving an opportunistic wedge between advocates and officials.


UPDATE, AUDIO & TRANSCRIPT: The show went very well. Pellerin stuck around for the entire hour and it was a great discussion with several interesting and newsworthy revelations, along with some very good callers as well. I think we may be getting somewhere. At least I'm hopefully tonight for the good folks of Santa Cruz...

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

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