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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, September 22, 2014
Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife- Beating Judge Mark Fuller
2012 documents suggest years of repeated domestic abuse, of two wives and children by federal judge with lifetime appointment...
ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
Seeks full 7th Circuit hearing after remarkable three-GOP judge ruling reinstating Photo ID restrictions just weeks before election...
'Green News Report' 9/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
DiCaprio takes climate role at UN; Jindal plays dumbest role yet; Fracking confirmed (again) to contaminate; Black lung coal disease on rise; PLUS: Polluter front groups newest attack...
Previous GNRs: 9/16/14 - 9/11/14 - Archives...
Oil & Water: KPFK 'BradCast'
BRAD BLOG's Desi Doyen sits in for Brad with guests Matthew Heberger on water wars, David O. Atkins on CA's latest fracking fight, and Margot Paez on Mars!...
Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
MSNBC's Chris Hayes plays horrifying audio from the wife-beating incident of Federal Judge Mark Fuller; ALSO: calls for accountability from two Alabama U.S. Congresswoman...
Bobby Jindal: Climate Denier, Boy Genius
Louisiana's governor and pretend 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful pulls the old 'I know you are, but what am I?' maneuver by calling the Obama Administration 'climate deniers'...
'Green News Report' 9/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Hottest year on record in CA, hottest Aug. on record for planet; Record hurricane hits Cabo San Lucas; Warm-water fish found in Alaska; PLUS: Burlington, VT now 100% renewable!...
Previous GNRs: 9/11/14 - 9/9/14 - Archives...
Wife-Beating Federal Judge Finally Mentioned on MSNBC
MSNBC contributor asks about lack of outrage, impeachment for federal judge Mark Fuller who beat his wife bloody in August...
Outrage Slowly Grows After Wife-Beating Federal Judge Avoids Prosecution
Fellow GOP District Court judge calls for accountability, says 'no one should trust Mark Fuller's judgment in a federal trial courtroom'...
GOP PHOTO ID RESTRICTION LAW RESTORED IN WI
Republican voter suppression laws getting huge boosts from GOP-appointed federal judges in NC, where 100s recently disenfranchised, and now in WI, in advance of critical mid-terms...
Not Taking the ISIS Bait
The media and the U.S. Government have decided to give the latest barbaric idiots to rise up in the Middle East all the publicity they crave, despite the 'exaggerated' threat posed to the U.S., or even in the region. We're not interested in playing along...
'Green News Report' 9/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Greenhouse gas emissions jump at record rate; Australia's emissions soar after carbon tax axed; Oceans acidifying at historic rate; PLUS: Some good news: Ozone Hole begone!...
Previous GNRs: 9/9/14 - 9/4/14 - Archives...
Accountability for Judge Fuller?; O, Mighty ISIS!:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Will Alabama's wife-beating U.S. District Court Judge face impeachment? Plus: Callers, lots of 'em, on what to do about ISIS...
Wife-Beaters: Rice Loses Job; Judge Fuller Continues Lifetime Appointment
America was outraged by the NFL superstar. So, what about Alabama's federal judge who beat his wife bloody and is now off scot-free?...
'Green News Report' 9/9/14
Floods: Catastrophic in Pakistan, Historic in Phoenix; Hillary on Global Warming; Rand Paul dismisses; PLUS: Lobster Boat Blockade wins!...
GA GOP State Senator: Too Many Black People Will Vote in DeKalb County!
Vows to close 'election loophole' allowing convenient Early Voting in area 'dominated by African Americans'; UPDATE: Says just wants 'more educated voters'...
GOP Allows 'Citizens United' Amendment to Move Forward, Will Vote Against
Koch Brothers' beneficiary Sen. Rand Paul wouldn't even allow that much...
NYT Public Editor Calls Out Paper for Phony 'Balance' on 'Voter Fraud', Global Warming
Margaret Sullivan's no weasel (unlike a predecessor). She's calling out the 'paper of record' again for misreporting on GOP myths...
Siegelman's Judge Strikes Deal to Avoid Trial After Beating Wife Bloody
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller to have record expunged following drug/alcohol evaluation, domestic abuse counseling...
ObamaCare 'Nightmare': 2015 Premiums Rates to DECLINE in Many Major Cities
This whole 'tyrannical government takeover of health care' thing is really a disaster...for Republicans...
Federal Judge Orders Restoration of Early Voting Hours in OH -- Again
'Ohio GOP keeps trying to cut early voting and federal courts keep striking the cuts down'...
'Green News Report' 9/4/14
Accountability for BP in Gulf Oil Spill Disaster and for PG&E in deadly pipeline explosion; CA bans plastic bags, regulates groundwater for first time in history...
The Corruption of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman: KPFK 'BradCast'
GUEST: Attorney and BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest A. Canning...
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...


'No One Could Have Predicted This,' Conny McCormack Tells LA Times in Her Best Condoleese, About Her Ballot Design That Disenfranchsed 40% of Voters in At Least Two Previous Elections...
By Brad Friedman on 2/18/2008 1:35pm PT  

L.A. County's former Registrar Recorder, Conny McCormack, who quit just prior to February's Super Tuesday Primary Election, turned into Condi Rice today. She's quoted in an Los Angeles Times' front page story confirming, as we pointed out over the weekend, that Election Officials did nothing about the "Double Bubble" ballot problem --- which may well disenfranchise a conservatively estimated 50,000 county voters --- despite massive disenfranchisement with the same design over last six years, since McCormack first implemented it.

In her best Condoleese, McCormack is quoted by the paper today saying, "This is an unfortunate, unanticipated result...No one could have predicted this."

Sound familiar?

She is shortly contradicted, in the same article, by a spokesperson from her own former office, before she continues on to blame voters and poll workers for the problem that she created --- as now confirmed by both the LA Times and California's Secretary of State Debra Bowen --- before then proceeding to do absolutely nothing about it...

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

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44% of Non-Partisan Cross-Over Ballots Went Uncounted in March '04, 42% Uncounted in June '06, Before Same Ballot Design Used Again for the February 2008 Super Tuesday Primary
As LA Times Gets Religion on Election Integrity Issues, But Doesn't Bother Apologizing For Their Failures to do so up to Now...
By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2008 5:00pm PT  

Given the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of voters, and maybe even hundreds of thousands of voters, from Super Tuesday's Los Angeles County Democratic Primary election, which the county's current acting Registrar incorrectly claims to be "impossible" to count accurately, we believe it's time to place some blame squarely where it belongs for the entire mess.

A Los Angeles Times editorial this week, where, it seems, the paper may have finally found religion on the issue of Election Integrity, serves up a great starting point...

And to think we made fun of Florida.

As of today, we take back the jeers about hanging chads and the unkind comments about inept voters befuddled by butterfly ballots. Somehow it doesn't seem as funny when it happens at home --- voting irregularities in Los Angeles County will disqualify the ballots of thousands of people who went to the polls on Super Tuesday.

In 2000, Florida voters flubbed their choices for president because they were confronted with a ballot whose design was new to them. But that's not the case here. L.A. County officials have long used a ballot whose design was known to consistently disenfranchise unaffiliated voters. They simply did nothing about it.
...
Election officials are calling this a glitch, but the outcome was entirely foreseeable. In fact, it has happened before. In the March 2004 election, 44% of crossover ballots were unusable, and in June 2006, it was 42%. With numbers this high, the county registrar should have investigated this matter long before now.

So it happened before. 44% of Non-Partisan cross-over ballots went uncounted in March '04 and 42% in June '06. And yet, the county went into '08's primary with no plans to change a thing.

The woman who dreamt up the ridiculous scheme, former Los Angeles County Registrar and Diebold cover girl Conny McCormack, quit just over a month before the election, and knew about the problem from years past, but did nothing about it. Or, she didn't know about, and was thus criminally negligent in her job as chief voting official for the nation's most populous county...

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

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As the Clock Ticks Towards Final Certification, and the County's Registrar Makes Excuses, Hundreds of Thousands of Voters Stand to be Disenfranchised for No Reason at All...
Every Vote Counted REDUCES the Current Error Rate! The Registrar Must Act NOW!
By Brad Friedman on 2/14/2008 2:08pm PT  

You can read The BRAD BLOG's previous detailed explanations of the current Los Angeles County "Double Bubble" ballot debacle here and here.

If you've yet to sign the Courage Campaign's petition demanding that these ballots be counted immediately, please do so right now!

As the clock ticks towards the date required for final certification of as many as hundreds of thousands of currently uncounted ballots in Los Angeles County --- due to an idiotic, ill-conceived, and possibly illegal scheme by the county's Registrar of Voters --- it is imperative that those ballots be counted immediately.

While the acting Registrar has claimed, incorrectly, that it is "impossible" to accurately determine the intent of the voters on those ballots, he is wrong.

Almost every single uncounted ballot can be counted today with absolutely certainty that the intent of the voter is being accurately recorded.

With current the miscount/error rate of those uncounted ballots --- on which the voter's intent has currently been inaccurately recorded by the optical-scan voting machines as "no vote" --- now standing at 100%, almost every single ballot counted will only lower that rate at best. At worst, in a tiny (almost infinitesimal) percentage of ballots, the current error rate will be not be lowered, though it will not be increased.

Thus, the error rate can be reduced to almost 0% if the Registrar's office will simply begin counting the ballots --- immediately.

Here's what everybody, (including apparently the Registrar!), needs to know about the currently miscounted ballots...

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

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The L.A. County Registrar is Lying...And Blaming Voters and Pollworkers to boot...
UPDATED With Link to Petition Demanding ALL Votes Be Counted! Please Sign It!
By Brad Friedman on 2/12/2008 9:16pm PT  

"A voter who casts a vote in an election in accordance with the laws of this State shall have that vote counted."
- Article II, California Constitution
Added overwhelmingly by California voters in Prop 43, on March 5, 2002

Election Code requirements "shall be liberally construed so that the real will of the electors will not be defeated by any informality or failure to comply with all of the provisions of the law."
- California Elections Code, Sec. 19001

Los Angeles County's acting Registrar of Voters, Dean Logan, says in a report delivered to the County Board of Supervisors yesterday on the "Double Bubble" debacle from last Super Tuesday's Presidential Primary Election, that he believes it will be "impossible to determine with absolute certainty" the intentions of some 100,000 non-partisan voters who chose to vote in either the Democratic or American Independent Party's open primary, despite selections having been made for one of the Presidential candidates on their ballots.

The intent on almost every one of those uncounted ballots CAN be determined with absolute certainty. So, allow me to put this as nicely as I can: Dean Logan is full of shit...

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

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Confusion Reigns, Legal Challenges Loom as Hundreds of Thousands Votes May Not be Counted Due to Maddeningly Confusing Ballot Design, Procedures
UPDATED: Registar's Office Say They Plan to Examine Non-Partisan Ballots, Will 'Seek Legal Authority to Count Those Votes'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/7/2008 12:29pm PT  

We believe we can now pull this issue up out of the weeds a bit, after more than 24 hours of trying to make sense of what the Los Angeles County Registrar's office has been describing to the media as "real clear."

What's clear is that the only thing that's clear is the fact that the county's new acting Registrar of Voters, Dean Logan, has seriously blown his first outing since coming South from his disastrous 2004 Washington state gubernatorial election debacle.

Unless swift action is taken by Logan and CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen, it's likely that hundreds of thousands of voters may have been disenfranchised in last Tuesday's Democratic Primary Election...

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

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ALSO: Video Indicates Los Angeles Registration Problems for Republicans as well...
By Brad Friedman on 2/6/2008 2:26pm PT  

The Los Angeles Times, which has been among the worst major newspapers in the country --- for years --- in reporting (or, actually not reporting) on issues of Election Integrity tells us today, in regards to yesterday's voting in California, that there were "Few election glitches, except for independents."

Um, does the braintrust at the LA Times realize that out of 15.3 million registered voters in the state, some 20% of them, more than 3 million, are "independents"? (3,043,164 to be exact, with more than 700,000 in LA alone, if the latest numbers from the CA SoS are to be trusted). Plus more than 300,000 voters registered as "American Independent" who may or may not have wished to be included as members of that party? Or shall we just deliver the "Understatement of the Year Award" right now to the folks at the LA Times?

That's more than just a "few glitches," no?

And if the following disturbing video from a Los Angeles Ron Paul supporter who switched from Democratic to Republican specifically to vote for Paul is any indication, it's not just "independents" who experienced "few election glitches" yesterday...

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

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Hundreds of Thousands of Non-Partisan Voter Ballots May Not be Counted in California's Open Democratic Primary Election
City Attorney Calls for Review by CA SoS, County Registrar of Voters...
By Brad Friedman on 2/6/2008 12:07am PT  

Alright, we've got a bona fide mess here in Los Angeles County. We covered this a bit earlier tonight, but have been speaking with various precinct captains and trying to figure out exactly what's going on. As mentioned it's a confusing mess, and could indeed be shaping up as "California's Butterfly Ballot" as far as we can tell.

There are two main problems:

  1. Many voters who thought they were registering as non-partisan independents have been surprised to learn they registered instead as members of the "American Independent" party, and thus, were not allowed to vote in the open Democratic primary.
  2. More insidiously, those independent non-partisan voters who did successfully manage to get registered as "Decline to State" (or DTS, or Non-Partisan), were allowed to vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary if they requested to do so when voting. However, without filling in a certain bubble on the ballot, specifying they wanted it to be counted in the Dem Primary, their vote for President, according to LA County's Registrar of Voters, will not be counted.

After being up since dawn, we hope to get some rest tonight shortly, and will then get a clearer picture on all of this, and the myriad other problems reported elsewhere in California and around the nation tomorrow (and beyond).

For now then, our friend Jake Soboroff at Why Tuesday has a video interview, posted below, with LA City attorney, Rocky Delgadillo who is also expressing concerns about what is becoming known as the "Double Bubble Trouble" issue. As well, Delgadillo gives a full statement to CBS2 News, calling for review of the issue, which could well disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters, by CA SoS Debra Bowen and LA County's acting Registrar of Voters Dean Logan.

Logan arrives here fresh from from his reign over the disastrous 2004 gubernatorial election mess in Washington state. He replaces the recently-resigned LA County Registrar and Diebold cover girl, Conny "Cut and Run" McCormack, who seemingly left this ridiculous scheme in place as a parting gift to LA County voters.

We'll post Soboroff's video of the interview, as well as Delgadillo's statement below. First, Soboroff describes the confusing situation very well...

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

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Independent Voters Have Trouble Voting, and Having Their Vote Counted, in the Open Democratic Primary
A Legal Battle Could Be on the Horizon Over 'California's Butterfly Ballot' if Results are Close...
By Brad Friedman on 2/5/2008 7:58pm PT  

Have been talking to various folks at various mainstream media outlets all day, hoping to help improve their coverage beyond the usual "glitches, hiccups, snags and snafus" reporting, so they might better understand that those are not "glitches", but failures.

My report on Los Angeles County issues for now, promised earlier, will therefore be somewhat truncated for the moment. I'll try to offer more details late night and/or tomorrow when, as the Century Foundation's Election Integrity expert Tova Andrea Wang smartly points out in her article titled "Super Tuesday. And Wednesday, and Thursday": "[M]any of the biggest problems will not be revealed until well after the polls close tonight."

For now, allow me to point out that, or caution, that serious legal issues could come in to play if results of the Democratic primary in the state are close in any way...

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

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Incorrectly Reports Voting Machines Undelivered 'ALL OVER LOS ANGELES'
By Brad Friedman on 2/5/2008 1:29pm PT  

As happened on the day of the New Hampshire primary on January 8th, disinformation on the net about problems at the polling place were rampant. But wrong. The disinfo, as The BRAD BLOG was able to debunk that day, seems to have originally emanated from the DRUDGE REPORT.

It looks like Mr. Drudge is busy getting the story wrong again today, reporting that "The board of elections failed to deliver voting equipment to polling places ALL OVER LOS ANGELES"...

After running the above story for a number of hours at his site --- and sending corporate mainstream media folks and Internet blogsites alike into a tizzy, as well as helping to ring our phones off the hook --- DRUDGE has finally updated the item with the real story, and it's far less scary...

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

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Election Results May be Delayed Until the Next Morning After the Election!
County Registrars Help Sound the Alarm!
By Brad Friedman on 1/30/2008 11:38pm PT  

ALERT! We just read the headline (via RAW STORY) at California's Bay Area NBC affiliate, and we are terrified:

Huge Delay Expected In Calif. Super Tuesday Voting Results

"Huge delay"?! What? Why? How could it be? The first graf of the article said it all. My God...it's true...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/30/2008 2:50pm PT  

After virtually ignoring the issue for some six straight years, our hometown newspaper, The Los Angeles Times, has run a two-part, 2,800-word "series" on concerns about voting machines, right on schedule, just in time to do absolutely no good at all before next week's upcoming Tsunami Tuesday election in the state. Waytago, LATimes!

The series reports absolutely nothing that has not already been reported over the last several years here at The BRAD BLOG, which is why the LATimes folks makes the big bucks and we don't.

They do, however, include an important point at the very end of the second article, in quoting from one of the country's most notable long-time voting machine apologists, Kimball Brace...

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

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One of America's Worst Places to Vote Keeps Getting Worster...
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2008 4:08pm PT  

Riverside County, CA --- under the continuingly incompetent direction of Registrar of Voters Barbara Dunmore, and the extraordinary delinquency of its County Board of Supervisors --- continues its never-ending fight to be named top dog as the Worst Place to Vote in America.

There's a lot of competition out there for that title, but the county performed above and beyond the call of duty over the past several years in that race, and in its quest for disastrousness. Today's news certainly helps the county stay right up near the top of the pack. Waytago, Riverside!...


ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2008 12:24pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

The Grand Lake Theater marquee in Oakland last Thursday Night, for the screening of UNCOUNTED: The New Math of American Elections...

More photos as I can get time to add them once I'm back home and/or off the road for a bit. Though here's a very quick clip from inside the theater --- with a great crowd turning out! --- during the screening...


Was great to meet so many of you there and at the Sacramento screenings on Tuesday! You are my heroes. Thanks for coming out! Buy a DVD and spread the word in your town...

UPDATE: Photos from the Sacramento screening, now posted by Bill of Sacramento for Democracy.

ReddIt this story!



Says Bringing Change To America Requires 'Guts, Some Determination and Some Fight'
Points Out That He 'Has Never Taken A Dime From A Washington Lobbyist Or Special Interest PAC'
By Alan Breslauer on 1/18/2008 8:37am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Senator John Edwards took his presidential campaign to Los Angeles yesterday, speaking to a crowd of about 1,000 at the Southern California Public Service Workers' headquarters. While Edwards spent the bulk of his nearly 20 minute speech going after special interests, corporations and lobbyists, he also took a few shots, without naming anyone, at his main Democratic challengers:

"You don't bring about change by shuffling papers, and you don't bring about change by just giving a speech. We have to actually have some guts, some determination and some fight if we want to bring the change that America so desperately needs."

Edwards also said that he was the "underdog" and challenged the crowd to start a grassroots movement on his behalf that will spread across the country like a "tidal wave of change."


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Some Election Officials Voice Concern That Recent Changes Restricting Use Of Some Voting Machines Jeopardizes Integrity Of Elections
But Secretary Of State Debra Bowen Defends Actions By Calling Voting Machines 'A Major Threat To Democracy'
By Alan Breslauer on 1/16/2008 8:27pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

According to a NewsHour report, some county election officials in California believe that changes ordered by Secretary of State Debra Bowen, including decertifying some voting machines, may put the integrity of upcoming elections in jeopardy. Seriously. This despite Bowen's explanation for her actions:

Bowen: Our scientist found that every system they looked at could be compromised in ways that made me uncomfortable. They were able to bypass security seals by undoing two screws and opening the whole machine. They were able to change the results without ever having any knowledge of the computer code itself.

Steve Weir, an election official from Contra Costa County, explains why election officials are concerned with Bowen's directives not to use some newly purchased machines:

Weir: You can't keep changing voting systems. You don't make changes to your voting system without really jeopardizing your own security and your own reliability, um, this close to an election.

However, Stanford professor David Dill backs Bowen and proclaims, "It seems that there is almost a national consensus that we have a serious problem". Dan Ashby, of the Election Defense Alliance, agrees that the use of voting machines is a dangerous endeavor:

Ashby:The election department public servants are not capable of running the election without having all kinds of technical help from the voting machine companies. [Which is dangerous because] They have the access and the means, motive and opportunity, if they were inclined, to change the programming in ways that no election official or voting member of the public could possibly perceive such that it would change the outcome of the election in an undetectable untraceable way.

Voting machines pose another, often overlooked, problem beyond the technical problems most often associated with such machines. Mainly, voting machines have led to a vast public distrust of elections. According to Bowen, the lack of trust in voting machines has caused people to "check out and not participate" and is thus, "a major threat to democracy".

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