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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, December 21, 2014
'Green News Report' 12/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Nothin' but good news for a change! - NY bans fracking!; Obama protects AK's Bristol Bay!; PLUS: More indictments for 'Freedom Industries' in WV toxic chemical spill!...
Previous GNRs: 12/16/14 - 12/11/14 - Archives...
Brad on Hartmann Radio: Wrapping Up a Few More Election 2014 Races
Yes, some of us are still paying attention.
Plus: A BRAD BLOG 'Programming Note'...
'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
Previous GNRs: 12/11/14 - 12/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
Read the 'mind-boggling' responses to BRAD BLOG's emailed explanation of blatant errors and inaccuracies in Francis Barry's op-ed...
Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
Adverse court ruling, barring inclusion of 4,600 rejected ballots, signals end of road (for now) of state's most expensive campaign, decided by just 800 votes out of 1.5 million cast...
'Green News Report' 12/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP anti-enviro wish list in "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate talks; Calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into action; PLUS: CEO indicted for WV chemical spill...
Previous GNRs: 12/9/14 - 12/4/14 - Archives...
The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
SOLVED: Mystery that Flipped Maine Senate Election!
21 'phantom ballots' flipped the results of a Nov. 4th state Senate election from D to R. But a dramatic turn of events and hand-counted paper ballots have now resolved the mystery...
'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
Previous GNRs: 12/4/14 - 12/2/14 - Archives...
Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
If they had to pass a test on American history and government, Fox 'News' viewers, as studies show, would be in big, big trouble...
Thousands of Ballots Excluded from Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure 'Recount'
Proponents charge interference by out-of-state corporate opponents, state's failure to count legal ballots due to 'signature problems'...
NC Repubs Trying to Run-Out Clock on Voter Suppression Lawsuit (Again)?
Plaintiffs charge state attempt to reschedule next summer's federal trial 'unsupportable', 'disingenuous'...
'Green News Report' 12/4/14
Biggest German utility spins off fossil fuel assets; Fossil fuel biz running scared? FL punishes homeowners for not polluting; PLUS: MSNBC's Big Coal infomercial...
House Judiciary Letter Suggests Impeachment for Wife-Beating Judge
Bi-partisan congressmen seek update from 11th Circuit Court, cite potential impeachment of Judge Mark Fuller...
'Green News Report' 12/2/14
New UN summit underway; Record rain, drought in CA; Global cost of falling oil prices; PLUS: Legacy of world's worst industrial disaster, 30 years later...
'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
Razor-thin computer-reported margin, failed paper-ballot tabulators, untallied provisionals, terrible 'recount' rules leave Barber-McSally contest in AZ-2 unsettled...
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seems'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in tiny Maine town, reverse results of very close state contest...
'Recount' for Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank's dire warning...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting
A few thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice in the killing of Michael Brown...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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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...


County Registrar Asks for Permission to Use Same Uncertified ES&S Touch-Screen Machines Again, Despite Cost and State's $15 Million Lawsuit Against Distributor...
By Brad Friedman on 11/24/2007 9:44pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from St. Louis, MO...

Things are really expensive in Marin County, California. For example, the cost to the county, so far, for each vote cast on their brand-new AutoMARK touch-screen voting machines has been $45,588.23.

Yes, that's more than $45,000 per vote for each of the 17 votes cast on the county's 130 machines over the last two countywide elections since they began using them.

And apparently, the county's elected Registrar of Voters, Michael Smith, really wants to continue using those machines, even though ES&S, the company which distributes them, is now being sued by the State of California for deploying uncertified AutoMARK machines in counties across the state, in violation of state law.

Nonetheless, Smith is asking CA Secretary of State Debra Bowen if he can continue using the uncertified machines in the upcoming Presidential Primary election next February, despite all of that, according to the Marin Independent Journal, who reports today:

Marin was one of five California counties that bought the machines. The county spent $775,000 to buy 130 machines. They were used by 17 voters in the two countywide elections during which they were used.

True, the cost per vote on the AutoMARK in Marin will theoretically come down with each successive election in which they are used (depending on what ES&S charges the county to program them each time, plus the excessive costs of warranties). In a decade or two, at this rate, if the same machines are still in use, each vote cast would come at a bargain basement price of just a few thousand dollars a piece.

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

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Damages and Penalties to 'World's Largest' Voting Systems Provider 'Could Reach into Millions of Dollars'
New Case Follows Yesterday's $15 Million Suit Against ES&S by CA SoS Bowen...
By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2007 2:10pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from St. Louis, MO...

"San Francisco's experience with ES&S raises extremely troubling questions, not simply about the integrity of this company's technology, but about the integrity of this company itself," San Francisco's City Attorney Dennis Herrera said today in announcing his new lawsuit against Elections Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S).

"There can be no more important duty in a representative democracy than to conduct elections, and it is a travesty to see that duty so flagrantly undermined by the fraudulent conduct of an election systems vendor," he added.

Well, no kidding! To quote from It's a Wonderful Life, "'Bout time one of you lunkheads said it!"

The suit filed today against ES&S, the "world's largest", comes on the heels of yesterday's announcement that California Secretary of State Debra Bowen was filing her own suit, to the tune of some $15 million, against the company for their illegal and undeclared use of uncertified touch-screen voting systems in several counties across the state, as well as their having lied about it to the state.

The Fog City Journal's coverage of the SF lawsuit begins this way...

City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed suit against the City's voting systems vendor today, charging Omaha, Neb.-based Election Systems & Software, Inc. with a panoply of wrongdoing that includes fraud, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and multiple violations of California's Elections Code, False Claims Act and Unfair Competition Law. In a 23-page civil complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning, Herrera detailed a months-long pattern of misrepresentations and voting system problems by ES&S that caused California Secretary of State Debra Bowen to impose stringent conditions on the City's use of the company's voting machines to conduct its municipal election earlier this month. Because of those restrictions, San Francisco election officials were forced to tabulate ballots centrally; to remake thousands of ballots by hand; and to borrow equipment from another county.

We've been calling for some time for states and counties to hold the voting machine companies accountable for their horrendous, out and out fraudulent business practices. Looks like the floodgates may finally be starting to open.

So who's next? Make no mistake, there will be more. Perhaps many. Stay tuned...

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Voting Machine Company Allegedly Violated Law by Deploying Uncertified Touch-Screen Machines in Several CA Counties and Lying About It in Public Hearings...
By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2007 4:01pm PT  

Blogged by Brad (quickly) from the road...

California Sec. of State Debra Bowen has announced a $15 million lawsuit against voting machine company ES&S for their use of uncertified AutoMARK voting systems in the state.

The BRAD BLOG initially reported on the likelihood of such a suit, in some detail, after Bowen's initial announcement of ES&S's violations of state law last August.

“ES&S ignored the law over and over and over again, and it got caught,” said Bowen in a press release just issued this evening. “California law is very clear on this issue. I am not going to stand on the sidelines and watch a voting system vendor come into this state, ignore the laws, and make millions of dollars from California’s taxpayers in the process.”

According to the release, ES&S seems to have simply lied about their use of the uncertified voting systems in the state of California. "The Secretary of State’s office held a public hearing on the matter on October 15, 2007. At that hearing, ES&S asserted the Secretary of State was notified about changes to the AutoMARK. However, ES&S provided no evidence before, during, or after the hearing to substantiate its claim."

Such deceptive practices are not uncommon for ES&S, as well as the other major e-voting machine companies. Diebold's touch-screen voting systems were decertified in the state in 2004, after it had been found that they had similarly deployed uncertified hardware and sofware, in violation of state law, in a number of counties in the state.

The complete press release from CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen's office follows below...

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

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UC Santa Barbara Student Says Citizens are Being Tricked into Signing Petition Under Guise of Supporting Cancer Hospitals for Kids...
By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2007 9:58am PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

Of course, the dirty trickster Republicans, who are again attempting to put an undead initiative on the California ballot to re-apportion the state's Electoral Votes to split them up by Congressional District (instead of winner-take-all, as it has been for years, and is in almost every other state), would never resort to dirty tricks --- and fraud --- to get their initiative onto the ballot, would they?

Worse, they would never stoop as low as using the guise of support for children's cancer hospitals to achieve their goal, would they?

This posted yesterday by a UC Santa Barbara graduate student...

Today I witnessed what I think is an incidence of ballot petition fraud relating to the electoral vote apportionment initiative - the proposal to apportion California's electoral votes by congressional district, unilaterally giving 19 of California's electoral votes to the Republicans in 2008.

Outside the UCEN (student center plus bookstore plus food court) at UC Santa Barbara, there were a number of people with cardboard clipboards soliciting people to sign ballot petitions for a proposal to spend $1 billion on cancer hospitals for kids. If you agree to sign, they tell you "you need to sign 4 times." What they do not tell you is that the three pages after the ballot initiative on cancer hospitals are different ballot initiatives: the second proposes to abolish eminent domain, the third proposals to abolish rent control, and the fourth is the proposal to apportion California's electoral votes by district (the so-called Dirty Tricks Initiative).

I should note that the clipboard is arranged such that a rubber band holding the petitions to the cardboard is positioned on the top of the page, across the actual ballot language in question - thus, partially hiding the text of the ballot initiatives on pages 2-4 unless you actually stop and pull down the top of the page.

I agreed to sign the cancer initiative, but the comment about signing four times raised a red flag, because I'm familiar with the structure of ballot petitions, so I paused before signing and looked at the other initiatives. However, I'm absolutely sure that most of the people signing, young college students on a rush to get their lunches and off to class, did not take this step.

(Thanks to BRAD BLOG reader GM for the tip.)

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Also Not Interested in Being Los Angeles' Mayor
By Jon Ponder on 11/10/2007 10:46am PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he is ruling out running for the U.S. Senate against Barbara Boxer in 2010. The governor was asked about his post-Sacramento plans after a Field poll showed him with a 1 percentage point lead over Boxer in an imaginary Senate match-up.

Boxer's dip in popularity probably reflects the general unhappiness among California liberals with the failure of Congress to hold Bush and Cheney accountable for lying in the run-up to the Iraq occupation and their systematic shredding of both the U.S. Constitution and the Geneva Conventions, just for starters.

But Boxer has arguably done as much as she could to hold the Bushies accountable. And in her 2004 reelection bid she received the third highest number of votes of any candidate in the country, next to Bush and John Kerry, respectively. She will likely bounce back. (On the other hand, rebounding is less certain for our other senator, Dianne Feinstein, who outraged her constituents last week by voting to confirm Michael Mukasey as Bush's new attorney general, even after Mukasey indirectly acknowledged that he will continue to greenlight and give cover to Bush's torture policies. Feinstein is not up for reelection until 2012.)

Mainly, though, it's hard to imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger as just one of 100 big fish in the Senate pond.

Schwarzenegger also ruled out running for mayor of Los Angeles. This is a no-brainer. There is very little glory in being L.A.'s mayor. For one thing, the balance of power here tilts more toward the city council, and less toward the mayor, than in most big cities.

For another, despite the city's propensity for earthquakes, riots, and wildfires, no Los Angeles chief executive has ever been dubbed "America's Mayor" because he stayed on the job during a crisis. Unless there was a chance Arnold could become another America's Mayor, it is unlikely he'd be interested.

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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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