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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, November 28, 2014
'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 seemed before this week's show'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in Town of Long Island, reverse results of very close state contest, leaving officials baffled...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Gov. Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank issue's dire warning...
Previous GNRs: 11/20/14 - 11/18/14 - Archives...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting of Michael Brown
A few early thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice on the night of his announcement...
'Recount' Ahead for Oregon's GMO Labeling 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...
GOP House Intel Committee Findings Debunk GOP BENGHAZI! 'Scandal'
Final report released quietly before holiday weekend and before eighth Republican BENGHAZI! committee set to convene...
Monster Energy Drink Not Just Crappy, Also the Work of Satan!
The indisputable video proof is now here!...
'Green News Report' 11/20/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record-breaking storm breaks Buffalo; October 2014 hottest October on record; Sorry, Repubs: China to cap coal use by 2020; PLUS: Obama doubles down on climate foreign policy...
Previous GNRs: 11/18/14 - 11/13/14 - Archives...
Extreme Weather? What Extreme Weather?
Yes, scientists have been warning us about this for years. And, yes, the record breaking storm in Buffalo is tied to global warming...
We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
'World's Greatest Democracy' rated worst among Western nations; Ranked just below Micronesia, just above Mexico in overall list...
Gag Order Won't Ensure Impartial Jury in Trial of 'Dark Lord of Coal Country'
WV's criminally indicted coal boss and U.S. Chamber of Comm. director Don Blankeship presents challenge for federal prosecutors...
Oxford English Dictionary's 2014 Word of the Year: 'Vape'
That small point likely underscores some very encouraging news for the health of the world...
'Green News Report' 11/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
US Senate fails to approve Keystone XL; Can Congress override the Prez next year?; Native Americans: KXL is 'an act of war'; PLUS: Accountability for 'The Dark Lord of Coal'...
Previous GNRs: 11/13/14 - 11/11/14 - Archives...
Sanders on Colbert: Midterms a Vote Against Both Parties
For those mad at us for asserting 'not voting IS a vote', look who just said the same thing...
Exclusive: St. Louis County Was Warned Before Election Paper Ballots Would Run Out
Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
Not Voting IS a Vote
Stop blaming those who didn't turn out. Americans did vote. By not turning out, they voted against the two major parties and against the system as a whole. It may have been a dumb vote, but it was a landslide...
Stephen Colbert is Really REALLY Funny
This segment makes clear once again that it's very very sad The Colbert Report is soon going away...
'Green News Report' 11/13/14
Historic US-China agreement that GOP said couldn't be done; New hope for int'l treaty; Repub freak out; Scientists say deal not enough, but good start...
Crucial Moment for FCC & 'Net Neutrality'
Will the Democratic majority commissioners support the President's clarion call and thwart GOP opposition to an open Internet?...
Brad on Hartmann TV: Election 2014 Mess
On thousands of 'missing' votes in Wisconsin, on Nate Silver and polls vs. 'results', on Rightwing 'True the Vote' voter fraud fraudsters, and on much more...
'Green News Report' 11/11/14
'Science has spoken': Final UN report - bad, good & room for hope; PLUS: Margaret Thatcher's historic climate change speech - when conservatives accepted science ...
IN MEMORIAM: Tomas Young, 1979-2014
On Veterans Day, America added another casualty from the War on Iraq -- one who, after first meeting and interviewing him in 2005, we will never forget...
Early Data Suggests TX GOP Photo ID Restrictions 'Worked'
Provisional ballots doubled, turnout down by more 1/4 million votes, despite larger population, contested gov's race and increased voter registration...
WI Scanner Fails To Tally Thousands of Votes in 'Citizens United' Referendum
'Programming error' blamed for paper ballot tabulator recording just 16 of 5,350 votes in city of Stoughton, WI...
The Results Were Skewed Toward Republicans: A Response to Nate Silver
The statistics guru unhelpfully explains away mid-term's surprising outcome by presuming pre-election polling was wrong and unverified election results were all correct...
'True the Vote' Group Fails to Find 'Voter Fraud' (Again)
Laughingstock RW org's 'army' of monitors and smart phone app uncover just 18 benign 'irregularities', 0 cases of polling place impersonation...
'Green News Report' 11/6/14
Election 2014-pocalypse: Republican hegemonic hellscape!; Climate deniers now in charge; PLUS: At least one note of very good environmental election news...
About Last Night: KPFK 'BradCast'
Guest Matthew Segal of OurTime.org joins Brad to discuss whether young voters are to blame for Tuesday's election results and, if not them, then who...or what...
Reuters: Voting Probs Around Nation, 2,000 Missing Election Judges in Chicago
Wire service summarizes machine probs, Photo ID vote suppression and a really strange story out of Chicago...
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...


Don Haas, Self-Described 'Hardcore Conservative,' Tells Readers of His Website to Game an Online Poll by a Conservative Radio Host Calling for His Brother to Step Down, Effort Seems to Have Been a Success!
Writes Anonymous Posting Here at BRAD BLOG After Concession of Democratic House Candidate in Brother Mikel's San Diego Election: 'Busby=Loser...Love it When You Uninformed Nutroots Lose'
By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2006 3:14pm PT  

Like brother like brother. Even San Diego County Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas's brother apparently believes it just fine to cheat at the polls.

Online polls in any case.

The BRAD BLOG has learned that Don Haas, the brother of SD County's Registrar, (one of the country's worst, by the way) has apparently been gaming a recent online poll hosted at the website of conservative San Diego radio talkshow host Roger Hedgecock. The right-wing talker has joined the chair of the Democratic County Chair in calling for Mikel Haas's resignation due to his abominable administration of county elections.

A quick investigation by The BRAD BLOG this morning reveals the poll used at the Hedgecock site can easily be gamed by simply deleting "cookies" on users' computers, allowing them to vote as many times as they wish. Don Haas encouraged readers in a posting yesterday at his website to "act like a democrats and vote three times."

As well, brother Don has been posting anonymously here at The BRAD BLOG with the user name "OMSmedia" since November 9th. In a comment this morning, in reply to Democratic U.S. House candidate Francine Busby's concession in the CA-50 race last night, Don describes her as a "loser" and continues by adding "love it when you uninformed nutroots lose."

He has his own website at OMSMedia.com which has a "Hardcore Conservative" graphic logo on the home page. In various postings in the "Live Journal" on the site, Don supports his brother's use of hackable Diebold voting machines, spreads disinformation about them, refers to Democrats as "asses," suggests all "gay representatives" are "pedophiles," and writes that "any [Senatorial] candidate yelling about the President should just resign"....

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2006 1:38am PT  

Oh, well. It was nice while it lasted:

Without further ado, Busby's e-mailed concession statement:

Today, I called Mr. Bilbray and congratulated him as the representative of the 50th district. I wished him well in Congress as he works with his colleagues to serve the people of this District and our country in these times when many difficult decisions and challenges lay ahead.

I waited to make this statement out of respect for those who have asked me to wait until all votes were counted, because the last vote cast is as important as the first.

On that last point, approximately 42,000 votes remain to be counted according to the registrar's website.

In addition to the uncounted votes, there's also the matter of Zogby's 'Exit Poll' in CA-50 showing a 6% disparity with the reported results and oh, yes, the hackable-in-sixty-seconds Diebold touch-screen voting machine "sleepovers" --- for a full three weeks with poll workers prior to the election in San Diego --- which may never be fully accounted for.

Oh, well. It's just democracy. How quaint.

Too exhausted to go into more details. (You're welcome.) But if you ever wish to learn more, you can read the entire sordid Busby/Bilbray saga, in reverse order, right here. Even if we have a feeling it's not nearly over. Not by a long shot.

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Legal Resources Being Gathered by National Party to Challenge Close Elections Where Dems Currently Trail
Other Candidates, Citing Concerns About Voting Machine Failures, Also Refusing to Concede Until All Votes Can Be Verified...
By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2006 3:22pm PT  

Just off the phone from a DNC insider --- very much in a position to know --- who says the following races are being considered, as of this afternoon, to still be very much in play by the DNC (* = Incumbent, Results shown latest reported by state websites as available):

NC-8: Larry Kissel (D) 60,016 / Robin Hayes (R)* 60,481
CT-2: Joe Courtney (D) 121,321 / Rob Simmons (R)* 121,151
FL-13: Christine Jennings (D) 118,739 / Vern Buchanan (R) 119,116
NM-1: Patricia A. Madrid (D) 103,376 / Heather Wilson (R)* 104,863
OH-15: Mary Jo Kilroy (D) 98,100 / Deborah Pryce (R)* 101,636
OH-2: Victoria Wulson (D) 112,952 / Jean Schmidt (R)* 115,817

The source believes that all of the above races, each of them currently very, very close, are winnable and the feeling is that they "could easily win three of those six."

In each --- except for CT-2, where Courtney is leading --- the Democratic candidate is currently trailing in the reported results as absentee, provisional, and paper ballots are still be canvassed. As well, challenges and recounts are underway in some of those races (we hope to have more detail shortly here on a couple of those races).

(UPDATE: Several readers have written to ask if other races beyond those mentioned above --- such as the U.S. House race in Washington state's 8th Congressional district between Democrat Darcy Burner and Republican Dave Reichert --- are now off the table as far as the DNC is concerned. The races reported above are the only ones named explicitly to us by the DNC sources. However, two different sources there have confirmed that they are largely driven by the folks on the ground in the states, and would urge that noise be made locally --- and loudly enough that higher-ups might hear it at the DNC --- in order to gain more attention from the national party to other such races still of concern.)

The source also adds that the DNC is considering whether or not to ask for contributions from the public to a legal fund to assure they will have the funds needed to provide full legal resources to thoroughly challenge each of those races.

As well, The BRAD BLOG has also learned the DNC is still keeping their eyes on the Colorado Secretary of State race between Ken Gordon (D) and Mike Coffman (R), given the problems revealed in Colorado's disasterous certification procedures for voting machines prior to the election, and their massive meltdowns on Election Day in Denver and elsewhere which caused thousands of voters to be turned away from the polls due to machine malfunction.

AP is reporting today that Coffman's lead is beginning to look insurmountable, though given the fact that Gordon's numbers in Denver alone outpace Coffman's by some 70 to 30 percent, the fact that Denver voters, specifically, were disenfranchised at such an alarming rate due to equipment failure on Election Day, certainly "exemplifies," as the source put it, the need for Election Reform across the country and the importance of Secretary of State races.

The six U.S. House races named above, of course, are just the federal races that the DNC considers "still in play," but there are innumerable local races and initiatives being challenged around the country, as another DNC source told The BRAD BLOG this morning. As well, there are a number of Congressional races where the candidates have, honorably, refused to concede until every vote is counted and accounted for.

Clint Curtis, the vote-rigging whistleblower who ran against Tom Feeney, the man he claims asked him to create vote-rigging software in 2000 (as The BRAD BLOG originally broke back in 2004 and whose story we've been following closely ever since) has issued a press release this morning saying that he will not concede in the race until every vote is accounted for.

"The right to vote and to have that vote counted accurately is the very foundation of our democracy, and I owe it to the voters in my district and the state of Florida to continue to push for accurate, honest elections," Curtis said in the news release. He points out that as a candidate, he "now has the legal standing to pursue an investigation into the anomalies," which he claims were reported during his race.

"I can accept that the citizens across the state of Florida were out of step with the rest of the country," added Curtis, "as long as we know that this election truly reflects their intent." The Florida Secretary of State's website currently shows Feeney leading Curtis 58 to 42 percent.

In California's 50th Congressional district, Francine Busby (D) has still refused to concede in her race against Brian Bilbray (R) in which she reportedly trails 54 to 43 percent. We applaud Busby's refusal to concede given the outrageously bad administration of the election across the entire San Diego County as overseen by Registrar Mikel Haas, one of the country's worst.

A Zogby poll taken on Election Day (and shortly thereafter) shows an unexplained 6 point disparity with the final results as we reported last week.

As reported earlier today, Haas's resignation was called for on Election Night by San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Jess Durfee after voters were disenfranchised across the county when Diebold touch-screen systems failed to work and not enough paper ballots were made available for voters. Many of those voters ended up voting on Spanish language paper ballots after English ballots had run out by 9am on Election Day; others simply gave up and went home or to work without being able to cast a vote at all.

We echo Durfee's call for Haas to step down immediately. San Diegans deserve honest and accurate elections in which the voters may have confidence in the reported results. Haas has, disgracefully, provided none of the above during his irresponsible tenure.

We originally reported that the Democratic candidate was trailing in the reported results in each of the six DNC-named races. In fact, Democratic candidate Joe Courtney in the CT-2 race is currently ahead in the results as reported so far. We've corrected the original misstatement in the article above. Further, AP is now reporting Courtney as the winner after a final canvassing of the ballots.

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Please Take the Poll...
UPDATE: SD County Democratic Chair Calls for Haas's Resignation and So Do We! There is No Basis for Confidence in the Reported Results of ANY Election in San Diego on November 7th!
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2006 8:15pm PT  

San Diego's very conservative radio host and fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh, Roger Hedgecock --- who agrees with me nonetheless about Electronic Voting Machines --- wonders if San Diego County's Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas, one of the worst in the country, should resign.

We won't say any more than that, since we'd hate to bias the poll in any way. But rest easy knowing that the results of Hedgecock's unscientific online poll will be at least as reliable and accurate as any election Haas has ever run in San Diego.

Sleepover on your answer before deciding for sure, but either way, please vote in the poll...

UPDATE 1/14/06 1:08pm PT: We hadn't noticed this earlier, but it looks like the San Diego County Democratic Party Chair, Jess Durfee, called for the resignation of Haas on Election Night due to all of the reported problems with machine failures, lack of available paper ballots, etc. On Election Night, the far right-leaning Union-Tribune reported Durfee as saying "his polling place in University Heights was out of paper ballots by 9 a.m., and all the machines in that precinct were down by noon."

Also reported in the same article by the U-T...

Malfunctioning machines, frustrating waits and confusion over electronic voting yesterday cast a pall on polling places from Oceanside to Otay Mesa.

Some left without voting after unusually long waits.

Others said they weren't sure their votes were recorded on the Diebold machines after paper jams prevented them from viewing a voter-verified paper trail.

Many precincts had machines that didn't work at all, at least at the beginning of the day as poll workers struggled to set up in time for the 7 a.m. opening.

We're changing our previous "neutral" stance and calling for Haas's immediate resignation. He's a disgrace, has undermined confidence of the electorate, has made a mockery of the rule of law, and the result is is that elections in San Diego have become a complete joke under his tenure in the county. There is absolutely no basis for confidence in the reported results of any election administered by Mikel Haas on November 7th.

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By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2006 2:28pm PT  

Tired of reading me whine about problems with our crumbling electoral system? Now you can watch me whine about them instead.

As if it's not enough I've had to become a spokesman, a journalist, a broadcaster, an investigator, an advocate, a political consultant over these last two years or so..on the Saturday before the election, I was asked to become a Standup Comedian...of a sort.

Click the photo for a quick 4 and a half minute video of an onstage appearance at the premiere of Electric City: A Political Comedy Special, in which I was shanghaied into appearing with a bunch of actual comics (such as Marc Maron, John Fugelsang, Rick Overton, etc.) on the Saturday night before the election.

As I was exhausted at that point, I'm glad the bit was caught on video tape. Otherwise, for the life of me, I'd not have been able to tell you a thing I spoke about that night. The week(s) before the election are all a blur to me right now.

The gig was smartly hosted by Cenk Uygur and Ben Mankiewicz of The Young Turks. A two-minute trailer (in which I also appear briefly) for the entire evening is posted below as well...

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

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Election Attorney Paul Lehto Blames Registrar Mikel Haas's Administration of Election, Refusal to Properly Count Paper Ballots for Discrepancy
Says, 'Abuse of Discretion' Improperly Delayed Count of Paper Ballots, Creates 'Second Class Ballots, Voters'
By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2006 12:43pm PT  

This just in from attorney Paul Lehto concerning the People's Republic of San Diego, where one of the country's most irresponsible Registrar of Voters, Mikel Haas, defied the California Secretary of State by refusing to count paper ballots as "normal ballots" on Election Night.

Lehto says Exit Polling data commissioned from Zogby International shows a '6-Point Distortion' from the "results" as so far announced by Haas's office in the Francine Busby/Brian Bilbray U.S. House election in California's 50th Congressional district.

The complete results of the Zogby polling is available for download here [PDF].

NOTE: Busby (D) has appropriately refused to concede the race against her opponent Bilbray (R) until all votes have been properly counted. As of this moment, the San Diego County Registrar's website shows "100%" of precincts reporting despite thousands of uncounted paper ballots, absentee ballots and provisional ballots. Those "results" show Bilbray leading Busby 53% to 43%.

In fact, however, given Haas's defiance of the California Secretary of State's order to provide an adequate number of paper ballots for all voters who, in California, may vote by paper for any reason if they wish, coupled with his irresonsible --- and likely illegal --- decision to send all of the county's pre-programmed, election-ready, hackable Diebold touch-screen voting systems home on "sleepovers" with pollworkers for a full three weeks prior to the election, it is literally impossible for there to be any confidence in any of the reported "results" as announced for any election this year in San Diego. The county's elections are now officially and wholly corrupted by Haas's abominable and disgraceful election administration, fed by his apparent loathing of voters and democracy.

ALSO NOTE: The VelvetRevolution.us Election Strike Force, of which The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder, contributed to the funding of this Zogby poll. Please consider donating to VR in support of such efforts!

Lehto's press release follows in full...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - NOVEMBER 10, 2006
Contact: Paul Lehto, Esq., 425.422.1387

CA 50 EXIT POLL ESTIMATES 6-POINT DISTORTION ENABLED BY REGISTRAR’S ABUSE OF DISCRETION

Haas’ Decision To Delay Paper Ballot Count
Artificially Inflates Votes For Republican

November 10, 2006 San Diego, CA – Attorney Paul Lehto, a national expert on election integrity, today released the results of an independent Zogby exit poll of voters in the November 7 election in California’s 50th District. The exit poll shows the race much tighter than the results published by the San Diego Registrar of Voters as of the day after the election, six percentage points closer. Moreover, after adjustment for an oversampling of Bilbray voters, the adjusted poll shows Democrat Francine Busby well within the margin of error, making the race uncertain in actual outcome. Paper based votes yet to be counted favor Francine Busby, such as paper ballots obtained at the polls, which constitute 6.4% of all voters and favor Busby 58% to 39%.

The poll also contains important findings about the relationship between different forms of voting and voter demographics, revealing a tendency for Democrats to use paper ballots versus other forms of voting such as electronic machines. In violation of state and federal law, and despite lawsuits filed to stop the process, San Diego Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas delayed the paper ballot count for paper ballots obtained at the polls by fully qualified voters, preferring to have other forms of ballots have been counted preferentially first, attempting to justify this second class service to paper-based voters by stating “this is an electronic election” when in fact the public is legally allowed a choice of either technology.

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

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San Diego 50th U.S. House Candidate Says She Won't Consider Conceding Until All the Votes Are Counted!
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2006 4:00pm PT  

U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray appears to have handily won reelection to the House but his opponent, Francine Busby, said she won't consider conceding the race until all of the votes are counted.

Well, hallelujah! And thank you, Francine. On behalf of every voter in CA-50, San Diego, California and America (if we may be so bold.)

The Voice of San Diego continues...

Despite Busby's statements, CNN and The New York Times called the race in [Brian] Bilbray's favor.

Part of the delay in tallying the votes stems from the countywide deployment of new electronic voting machines for the first time this election. That prompted local Democrats and election watchdog groups to urge voters to request paper ballots.

Busby said that her own ballot was mistakenly counted as provisional after she requested a paper version. Her vote won't be added to the official total until the Registrar of Voters verifies that she's an eligible voter.

The Registrar of Voters in San Diego is Mikel Haas, one of the country's worst, as BRAD BLOG readers likely know well by now.

Voting machines malfunctions at numerous polling locations also forced many voters to manually register their opinions via paper ballots and Busby's campaign claimed that some precincts had reportedly run out of ballots.

In the days leading up to the election, the Registrar of Voters also ran out of absentee ballots and was forced to send out photo copies, which will take days to manually transfer to official ballots by hand.

More interesting details in the article by Daniel Strumpf and Kelly Bennet, both of whom are to be congratulated for their use of the word "appeared" to qualify their reporting of a possible Bilbray win, and letting CNN and New York Times face the ignominy of reporting the results of a race --- marred with so many security, integrity and verification issues --- that neither outlet, nor any human being on the face of the earth, could actually prove to be accurate in any way at this time.

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(Not that we have any particularly strong feelings about the race)
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2006 9:46am PT  

UPDATED 10:38am PT: AP is now reporting that Debra Bowen has won the Secretary of State's race in California! This is a huge win for those of us who care about Election Integrity in America! Perhaps the most important race in the nation on that front! More on this later today!

The California Sec. of State's website reports the disingenuous, lying, Diebold-loving, democracy-hating California Sec. of State Bruce McPherson trails freedom-loving, voter-supporting State Senator Debra Bowen in the race for California Sec. of State. As of this moment, Bowen reportedly leads 48.5% to 44.7%.

It's currently the only statewide race that's yet to be called by AP. We hope that conpsiracy theorist McPherson doesn't cry fraud and he soon realizes, for the good of the state, that it's time to concede, get over it, and move on.

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Voters in Predominently Dem Areas Unable to Vote, Some Voting on Paper Ballots in Chinese and Vietnamese as English Ballots Not Available...
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2006 2:24pm PT  

I just got off the phone with Steve Young, the Democratic candidate in CA-48 (Orange County). He reports that his office is receiving calls from at least 8 precincts of voting machines down with no paper ballots available for voters. All, he says, in strongly Democratic areas of the otherwise conservative Orange County. I believe they use ES&S voting machines down there. Several Emailers have contacted us to let us know it's Hart Intercivic machines in use down there, not ES&S.

He says voters were either being turned away without being able to vote at all, or voting on Chinese and Vietnamese paper ballots --- since English ones are not available --- just so they are able to vote!

By the time we were done with the call, a staffer came in with a report from machines down in a Republican area, but said the machines were fixed quickly, whereas one of the reports you'll see below (transcribed during our quick phone conversation) shows poll workers repeatedly trying to get help from the Registrar to no avail.

NOTES FROM PHONE CALL WITH STEVE YOUNG (CA-48)

Calls coming in to our office, 8 reports all in highly Democratic precincts...

8:35am - Two precincts in an elementary school (#59100 and #59102) had no machines working, no paper ballots, at least 15 people were seen leaving the polls without voting.

8:40am - All machines down in polling place with two precincts in it (#'s 59058 & 5916) all machines down, no English paper ballots, people voted on Chinese and Vietnamese ballots just to vote!

9:10am - Same precincts and also #59161 is completely out of paper ballots.

9:30am - Another precinct (I didn't get the number) had two of the machines down, line is out the door (at least 40 people reported to be in line)

Within the hour - Prcts #59075 and 59076, machines down, poll workers tried six times to get attention to fix the machines.

We're in contact with the Registrar, they promise they're going to deliver English paper ballots to all of the precincts. They claim they are telling poll workers that folks should vote on paper and that they don't have to vote on the machine....if there are such ballots available of course.

Please note, a memo from the CA Sec. of State last month had said all voters who wished to vote on paper in California may do so, but he left it up to them how many would be "an adequate supply." He also said they should be counted as "normal ballots" and not as provisional ballots which are usually counted days later, if ever. None of those orders seems to be being enforced anywhere in CA, as far as I can tell.

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Registrar Mikel Haas's Promise to Defy the SoS and NOT Count Paper Ballots Until Thursday Moves Forward...
VelvetRevolution.us Helping to Fund Appeal
By Brad Friedman on 11/6/2006 9:18pm PT  

The lawsuit brought last week in San Diego to force Registrar Mikel Haas to obey an order from the Secretary of State's office that paper ballots should be counted as "normal ballots" was denied in San Diego Superior Court today.

The writ, originally filed in Appeals Court last week, was denied on jurisdictional grounds and refiled in the Superior Court. Due to time constraints at that point, the section of the complaint seeking to stop voting machine "sleepovers" (which have now been ongoing for a full three weeks in the county) was dropped when the case was re-filed.

The denial today, which had also sought to force Haas to inform San Diego voters at the polls of their right to vote on a paper ballot, will be appealed, according to Carlsbad, CA, attorney Ken Simpkins. Election Integrity organization VelvetRevolution.us' Strike Force continues to raise money to fund such court actions, as it did with the original filing and several others --- including the contested Francine Busby/Brian Bilbray special U.S. House election last Summer.

I spoke with Simpkins earlier today about the court ruling and the judge who didn't seem to understand the differences between provisional, absentee and "normal ballots." Paper ballots, requested by any California voter, are supposed to be counted as "normal ballots" on election night, according to a memo from the CA SoS.

As time is way short for me right now, here's a quick transcript of my notes of the conversation I had with Simpkins, describing the judge, who reportedly made his feelings known early on during the questioning when he referred to E-Voting as "the appropriate wave of the future"...

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

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Sends Thousands of Hackable Diebold Machines Home with the Students on 'Sleepovers' for Weeks on End!
By Brad Friedman on 11/6/2006 2:27pm PT  

This just in from poll worker Patti Newton from San Diego, where Registrar Mikel Haas has been sending all of their pre-programmed, election-ready, hackable Diebold touch-screen systems home with poll workers on "sleepovers" since Oct. 16th.

Newton reports the machines have been going to high-school kids who have also been recruited to be in charge of those machines tomorrow! Have we mentioned that San Diego's Mikel Haas is amongst the worst most irresponsible Election Administrator's in the country?! From Newton...

I just got off the phone with one of the (San Diego) North County Poll Worker Recruitment Specialists (PWRS) --- I vented my frustration at being teamed with three (3) teenagers with no election experience. To add insult to injury, I am relegated to the job of ASSISTANT Precinct Inspector (this is my third election this year)!

The PWRS told me that Mikel Haas directed recruiters to place every single teenager who applied. I believe they were actively recruited because they are receiving extra credit (in high school classes) in addition to being paid. She did not confirm or deny the answer to my question, "Did Haas put the teenagers first in line as Touchscreen Inspectors?" Her evasion was answer enough. I asked her if teens having voting machines in their custody for three weeks made her nervous. "Yes, a little." She stated she was "just a peon" and following directions from ROV Haas.

It is obvious my PI has not cracked the cover of her election guide and made no attempt to contact me or the others to arrange to set up the poll tonight. She has not contacted the other workers. The two phone numbers I've (not my PI) actively sought for one worker are both wrong numbers.

These kids have no sense of urgency nor do they seem to take any responsibility. Perhaps Mikel Haas is smarter than we think.

But wait, she followed up with more!

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

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PLUS: LA Times Reports its Very First E-Voting Story Ever! (As far as we can tell)
By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2006 10:06pm PT  

Gosh...maybe there's a pattern here or something. Is there something to be concerned about here?...Here are just a few of the headlines from the National section (much more in the state-by-states) of today-only's 'Daily Voting News' from John Gideon...

  • Leaked 2003 Report On Maryland's Diebold Voting System Reveals Serious Security Concerns Were Withheld From Election Board, Governor, Public LINK
  • HBO hacked about Diebold's docu claims LINK
  • Delays loom in counting ballots LINK
  • U.S. Attorney's Office: We're ready to investigate election fraud LINK
  • Columnist – Ellis Henican - A vote for old-fashioned poll method LINK
  • E-voting may be scarier than hanging chads LINK
  • Distrust of voting machines is running high LINK
  • Electronic voting: Cure or a bigger problem? LINK
  • Rage against the machine LINK
  • Voting system raises security questions LINK
  • Voting machines vulnerable, says report by UConn faculty LINK
  • LOU DOBBS: Avalanche of Last Minute Problems with E-Voting Machines LINK
  • Electronic Voting Machines Under Scrutiny LINK
  • E-voting problems still exist, critics say LINK
  • How to restore trust at the ballot box
    Problems with high-tech machines have some voters feeling left out LINK
  • This list is also notable because it contains the very first story ever on e-voting concerns (at least that I could find in a quick search) from the completely useless Los Angeles Times! Waytago, guys! Just in time! You win the BRAD BLOG's "Most Useless and Irresponsible Big City Newspaper in the Country" Award!

    Their very first article comes today despite a mountain of problems for years, not to mention the last few months, across California, including the myriad disasters ("sleepovers" and everything else) just down the road in San Diego; a hapless Sec. of State who has approved one hackable, malfunctioning electronic voting machine after another (offering an ersatz blessing for the rest of the states from "the country's largest voting market," as Diebold calls us); and one of the most important Sec. of State races ever, with a real democracy champion, Debra Bowen, running against the inveterate liar and democracyhater, SoS Bruce McPherson.

    Add to that list of reasons why the LA Times should be utterly ashamed of themselves is this comment in their own article today from one of the top scientists on McPherson's own team of voting systems advisors:

    "This issue is a matter of national security," said computer scientist David Jefferson of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "The legitimacy of government depends on getting elections right."

    Of course, Jefferson's been saying that for months. But has the LA Times bothered to report any of it? Little wonder they haven't devoted a single article to this issue until just three days before the election. Nothing to see here at all. Move along. Don't read those headlines above. Everything's still just fine.

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    New Vulnerability Discovered on Touch-Screen Systems Made by One of Country's Largest Voting Machine Companies Will Affect Elections in Dozens of States!
    California's Secretary of State Bruce McPherson Denies Knowledge of Vulnerability Well After His Office Had Been Notified...
    By Brad Friedman on 11/2/2006 3:32am PT  

    "Just push the yellow button and you can vote as many times as you want," Tom Courbat, an Election Integrity advocate from Riverside County, California informed The BRAD BLOG tonight. Not that we're in any mood to report more such stories, but this seems to be a big one. A very big one.

    It seems there's a little yellow button on the back of every touch-screen computer made by Sequoia Voting Systems, that allows any voter, or poll worker, or precinct inspector to set the system into "Manual Mode" allowing them to cast as many votes as they want.

    Concerns about the flaw were first reported some thirty days ago to California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson's office by Ron Watt, a Tehama County, CA precinct inspector who has been a poll worker in the county for the last fifteen years. And yet, as recently as a radio interview last Tuesday, McPherson --- who has been crowing about having the country's most stringent security process for voting systems --- denied he was aware of any security issues with Sequoia systems.

    "They didn't care about it," Watt told us tonight about his "late September or early October" discussion with McPherson's voting systems chief Bruce McDannold. "He said he didn't think it was an important issue. He said I don't believe this is really a vulnerability."

    Watt and Courbat disagreed and placed another phone call to the SoS' office on Friday after Watt received a copy of Sequoia's "Poll Workers Guide, Booklet #5: Troubleshooting" via a public records request in Tehama. On pages 19 through 22 of the booklet --- which is marked as "Confidential and Proprietary" --- he confirmed the simple manual override to the system. He'd learned about it years earlier and the new manuals confirmed that button was still in place. Even in the latest models of the Sequoia Edge voting systems (both models 1 and 2).

    The complete sequence to override the system and enter manual voting mode, along with the Sequoia booklet received via Watt's public records request, is now posted here at BlackBoxVoting.org.

    Watt had been taught to be a poll worker trainer by De La Rue, the former parent company of Sequoia, years ago when the systems were first brought into the county. The two men placed a conference call with McDannold last Friday after receiving the booklet. McDannold again reportedly downplayed the concerns, but said "he'd look into it," according to Courbat.

    He called Courbat back on Monday afternoon to say Sequoia technicians had been in the SoS office and had confirmed the vulnerability. (A complete transcript of McDannold's Monday phone message left on Courbat's cell phone, confirming the security issue and describing the actions --- or lack thereof --- being taken, is at end of this article.)

    Sequoia's voting machines are perhaps the most widely used in California, in some 19 different counties, including both Tehama and Riverside, which is known as the "Home of E-Voting" as it was the first county in the nation to deploy such systems. But identical Sequoia machines are also used in dozens of other states around the country including Florida, Illinois and elsewhere.

    Thanks to the diligence of Watt and Courbat, it is now confirmed that all such systems are completely vulnerable to virtually anyone who wishes to cast as many votes as they please.

    "I can do it in 18 seconds," says Watt. "I can train you to do it in 3 minutes. Just push the yellow button, wait 3 seconds and it chimes. Push the yellow button again, wait 3 seconds and it chimes again. Then it's all on the screen prompts. You're asked 'Do you want to enter manual mode?' and you push 'Yes'...And then you're on your way."

    "You can then vote as many times as you want. You won't ever have to stop until someone physically restrains you from voting," he explained.

    "But wouldn't someone hear the chime?" we asked...

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

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    Complaint Filed Against Registrar Mikel Haas in CA's Court of Appeals on Behalf of Plaintiff by Busby/Bilbray Election Contest Attorney Ken Simpkins
    Suit Funded by Velvet Revolution's 'Election Protection Strike Force' Effort...
    By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2006 10:35am PT  

    A lawsuit naming San Diego County Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas as defendant has been filed in the California Court of Appeals seeking to compel Haas --- whom we've previously described as one of the nation's worst Elections Administrators --- to follow the orders of the California Sec. of State and supply Paper Ballots to all voters who request one. Further, the suit demands that Haas actually count those ballots on Election Night, in accordance with the State order, rather than create an "unequal class of voters" by reporting only touch-screen voting results that night.

    As The BRAD BLOG reported yesterday, Haas has announced that he plans to defy the SoS order to count such paper ballots as "normal ballots" by refusing to count them at all until the Thursday after the election. He has also instructed poll workers not to inform voters of their right to vote on paper if they so choose and, according to the lawsuit, has failed to ensure that an adequate supply of paper ballots will be available for voters who wish or need them.

    As well, the lawsuit --- funded by the VelvetRevolution.us Election Protection Strike Force --- seeks in its third action a peremptory writ regarding the current "sleepovers" of Diebold electronic voting machines, now underway in San Diego where poll workers will have kept the pre-programmed, election-ready touch-screen systems in their homes and cars for a full three weeks prior to the November 7th election.

    -- Download the full complaint here [PDF]...
    (Link fixed! The complaint is very very good, btw, and charges, correctly in our opinion, that Haas has failed in and abused his role as Registrar of Voters.)

    Carlsbad attorney Ken Simpkins's suit, filed on behalf of San Diego County voter Kathy Peterson, seeks appropriate security logs and precautions to be instituted, since Haas has failed to do so via his "sleepovers," which lack apppropriate security measures. A recent blog item at Velvet Revolution (VR) has described Haas as "apparently preferring plausible deniability of scattering the voting machines to innumerable volunteers" over actual accountability.

    The "sleepovers" are also in violation of both state and federal laws and security requirements, effectively decertifying them for use before the election even begins. San Diegans should have no basis, at this time, for confidence in any results reported from San Diego's election on November 7th, due to Haas's failures.

    Haas, in an article on the lawsuit in the North County Times, says that complying with the SoS order to count paper ballot votes as "normal ballots" would be impractical.

    "We can't count these ballots on election night," he told the NC Times. "They will be counted during the canvas period, which allows us 28 days. We can't count two things at the same time. We'll have our hands full just uploading the results from the precincts where people will be voting on touch screens."

    By refusing to count paper ballots on Election Night, "Mr. Haas risks skewing the early visibility of San Diego election results, which could impact public perceptions and lead to premature concessions by candidates," according to a statement by Ken Simpkins.

    The NC Times quotes Haas as saying there is no reason for candidates to concede prematurely. "It isn't over until I certify the election, and that's usually around 28 days after an Election Day," he said. "What any candidate does within those days is their business."

    Haas' claim that "it isn't over until I certify the election" is in direct contradiction to the facts on the ground, revealed by last June's U.S. House Special Election to replace disgraced Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham in San Diego. In that matter, a contest was filed after certification of the election, as per state law, but was thrown out by a San Diego judge who ruled the U.S. House, not the courts or voters of California, had jurisdiction over any election challenges or recounts once the "winner" in the race, Brian Bilbray, had been sworn in by the House just seven days after the election. At the time of the swearing-in --- a full two weeks prior to Haas's certification --- thousands of ballots remained wholly uncounted.

    By law, no contest or recount could be filed until after Haas's certification. And yet, Superior Court Judge Judge Yuri Hoffman found the plaintiffs no longer had the right to challenge or recount the election results in any way.

    Simpkins was one of the attorneys who filed the Busby/Bilbray lawsuit last summer along with attorney Paul Lehto. In that case --- as The BRAD BLOG originally broke on June 7th, followed with extensive special coverage thereafter --- Haas had also sent home both optical-scan and touch-screen voting systems made by Diebold on poll worker "sleepovers," despite new emergency security mitigation requirements made by both State and Federal oversight bodies after it had been discovered that Diebold voting systems contained a type of programming code making them particularly susceptible to tampering. That type of programming code, known as "interpeted code," is also in violation of both state and federal law.

    During the June contest it was discovered that Haas's chain of custody security logs were virtually non-existent. The dismissal of that case is currently being appealed.

    As we reported on Tuesday, the Democratic Sec. of State candidate, Debra Bowen, released a short video ad on her campaign website revealing the extraordinary dangers and, indeed, the serious national security threat presented by such "sleepovers."

    A request has been made for an expedited decision from the court in the latest case due to the pending election. Hopefully decisions on these matters will be forthcoming.

    Your help in fighting for accountability in such cases around the country is paramount. Please donate to the VR Strike Force effort so we can help hold the bad guys accountable and fight for clean elections! Our work is funded entirely by "we the people" so your support is crucial!

    The VR Election Protection Strike Force website can be found at: http://VelvetRevolution.us/ElectionStrikeForce. Please pass that address around!

    As well, the VR Strike Force is offering a $250,000 reward for tips concerning Election Fraud (details here, tip-line here: 888-VOTE-TIP)

    The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us. We hope to announce news concerning a special VR Strike Force Radio broadcast on Election Night, in conjunction with a number of other individuals and organizations. More details on that, hopefully, very soon...

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    In Hilarious Statement, Company Claims Documentary --- Which They Haven't Seen --- Has Facts Wrong...But They're Referring to a Completely Different Documentary!
    Feature Article on Film Should Be Published by ComputerWorld Tomorrow...
    By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2006 10:32pm PT  

    I've written a feature article for ComputerWorld on HBO's upcoming Hacking Democracy, the superb documentary on the many insidious lies of Diebold scheduled for airing beginning Nov. 2nd. We posted a preview article on the film's release several weeks ago. That article should be posted in full Wednesday morning if the continuing delays are worked out (CW had said they'd hoped to publish it Monday).

    In the meantime, Diebold seems to be embarrassing itself yet again by issuing a statement calling for HBO to pull the documentary, or at least run disclaimers before, after, and throughout the film. I've seen it. If I were them, I'd try to do everything I could to keep America from seeing the film, as well.

    "Truth and accurate reporting are the biggest casualties of the film," Diebold Election System President David Byrd is quoted as saying in the media release.

    But ironically, as The Hollywood Reporter is reporting tonight, Byrd has not only never seen the film, but his claims that the film is "Riddled With Errors and Slipshod Reporting" apparently refer to a completely different film!

    Confusing a different film called VoterGate with the short film called VoterGate, which was an early version of the film now known as Hacking Democracy, Byrd writes a two page letter [PDF] to HBO refuting several points in the other film!

    While Diebold's letter from Byrd claims that the film is "so egregious that HBO should pull the documentary," the letter itself is not only riddled with errors and slipshod reporting, it also makes a sad attempt at playing the partisan card, which Diebold has been trying to deny for years! Note this graf...

    "Hacking Democracy" is directed by the directors of "VoterGate" and contains much of the same material. "VoterGate" was produced with special thanks to Susan Sarandon and The Streisand Foundation.

    Never mind that the VoterGate Diebold refers to is the wrong VoterGate, but what the hell do either Susan Sarandon or The Streisand Foundation have to do with Diebold's claim that the film is inaccurate?

    Not disingenuous enough for you? Byrd has more...

    Harri Hursti is shown attacking a Diebold machine in Florida. But his "attack" proved later to be a complete sham. Hursti was invited by California Secretary of State's office to demonstrate his supposed ability to "hack" a Diebold optical scan system. He declined...

    Of course, we know that Byrd never saw the Hursti Hack in Hacking Democracy (it hadn't occurred by the time either VoterGate film was released), the disingenuous claim that it "proved later to be a complete sham" is itself a complete sham:

    Not only did the California Secretary of State's own technical advisory board at UC Berkley write that "Harri Hursti's attack does work" and that it was "definitely real" in their report [PDF] on the hack, but they also found "more serious vulnerabilities...that go well beyond what Mr. Hursti demonstrated, and yet require no more access to the voting system than he had. These vulnerabilities are consequences of bugs–16 in all."

    We would later learn that the invitation to which Diebold refers, from the CA SoS "inviting" Hursti to try his hack out in California, was drafted by a Diebold employee and disinformation operative by the name of Rob Pelletier, and sent to Hursi on CA SoS stationery!

    As revealed by this investigative report [PDF] released over the Summer by BlackBoxVoting.org (one of the film's main subjects) entitled "The Diebold Pursuasion Machine," it appears that Pelletier drafted the letter for CA SoS McPherson's office. The "invitation" would later come to be regarded as a "setup" using special Diebold machines and designed for Hursti to fail.

    In the same report, it was revealed that Diebold employee Pelletier had been spreading disinformation under several phony names at various Internet sites, as well as here at BRAD BLOG as a commenter using the name "Wally O'Diebold."

    As Barney Gimble wrote yesterday in a terrific piece on the history of Diebold in Fortune, about a "five-step plan guaranteed to make an obscure company absolutely notorious":

    First get into a business you don't understand, selling to customers who barely understand it either. Then roll out your product without adequate testing. Don't hire enough skilled people. When people notice problems, deny, obfuscate and ignore. Finally, blame your critics when it all blows up in your face.

    Hey Diebold: It's blowing up in your face. Stop blaming the critics. You're just making a continuous jackass out of yourselves. And, trust me, you've got far worse problems coming your way that you ought to be worrying about.

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