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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, July 24, 2014
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
Previous GNRs: 7/22/14 - 7/17/14 - Archives...
Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
The Good Fight Continues: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad speaks with John Wellington Ennis, documentarian and activist, on his newest film and his decade-long fight for election integrity...
What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record wildfires burn the Pacific Northwest; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Previous GNRs: 7/17/14 - 7/15/14 - Archives...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A Rightwing caller's admission in response to Brad on a radio show in NC underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's fake news show Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal the 1960 Election From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
CA Adds Call to Overturn 'Citizens United' to Ballot
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama takes action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: California gets tough on water wasters...
Previous GNRs: 7/15/14 - 7/10/14 - Archives...
Koch Brothers' Radical Libertarianism Broke Kansas
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's Democratic opponent after tax cuts for the wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
Killing Zombie Myths Dead: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad takes on a bunch of lies this week that just won't die this week -- from e-cigs to Ann Coulter's voter fraud to 'global cooling' to the death penalty to marriage equality in Mississippi and more...
FEDERAL JUDGE FINDS CA DEATH PENALTY VIOLATES U.S. CONSTITUTION
George W. Bush appointee rules state system violates Constitution's ban of 'cruel and unusual punishments'...
'Green News Report' 7/15/14
Divesting from fossil fuels; Germany gives $1b to climate fund; Australia carbon tax repeal; All-electric Formula E racing revs up; PLUS: Climate denier Murdoch...
MO's Democratic Governor Discourages Quitting Smoking
Jay Nixon vetoes bill that would have exempted non-lethal e-cigs from being taxed like dangerous tobacco...
CNBC's Santelli Gets Schooled on CNBC
Fellow CNBCer slams the 'Tea Party' progenitor during on-air shout-fest in the perfect example of why people watch cable 'news' channels -- and why they don't...
GOP Voter Fraud Queen Ann Coulter Urges MS Senate Candidate McDaniel to NOT Pursue Fraud Concerns
Given her well-documented personal history, perhaps she shoulda stayed out of this one?...
'Green News Report' 7/10/14
Debunking the 70's 'global cooling' myth; Anti-science coal nuts in KY; BP oil in Gulf fish; Canada tar sands linked to cancer; PLUS: Pesticide killing birds & bees...
Challenging 'The Nation's Most Restrictive Voter Suppression Law': KPFK 'BradCast'
Journalist Ari Berman, just out of the federal courtroom in North Carolina, joins Brad to discuss the federal case; Plus MUCH MORE...
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...


GOP Workers Changed Registration Forms for Dems, Greens, and Even a Non-Citzens into Republican Registrations!
County Dem Chair Announces Indictments and Steals Thunder From Republican Sec. of State...
By John Gideon on 10/27/2006 5:32pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Today the Associated Press reported that 11 people who worked for a firm hired by the Republican Party were indicted for voter fraud. The workers were paid as much as $10 per Republican registration so they signed-up anyone they could and changed their party affiliation to Republican.

"Fraudulent voter registration charges were filed this week by prosecutors who said Democrats were unwittingly signed up as Republicans. Central Orange County includes the district represented by Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

"There were at least 37 instances in which Democratic, Green Party voters and a noncitizen were registered as Republicans. Each defendant was charged with felony counts of fraudulent completion of registration affidavits."

...and they report:

"The recruiters worked for the Newport Beach petition circulating firm Bader & Associates as well as a subcontractor. Company owner Tom Bader said Thursday that his firm cooperated in the investigation.

"Subcontractor John Burkett of Lake Elsinore said he discovered problems with his recruiters' work during random checks of submitted forms and he notified his clients.

"The 11 defendants charged Tuesday weren't identified and details of the charges weren't disclosed by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas."

In a truly brilliant move the chairman of the Orange County Democrat Committee leaked the news of the indictments stealing the thunder from Secretary of State McPherson who wanted to wait until Monday to have a press conference. Reporters attempted to contact the Secretary but calls were not returned.

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California Secretary of State Has Difficult Relationship With the Truth
McP Squares Off, Falls on Face, Against Non-Lying Opponent Debra Bowen in Live Debate
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2006 11:35am PT  

We spoke about the Democratic, and actually qualified candidate for California Sec. of State Debra Bowen yesterday.

So, equal time. Let's talk about the completely unqualified, partisan mouthpiece, the current Schwarzenneger-appointed California Secretary of State and accomplished liar, Bruce McPherson.

Oh, and as the end of yesterday's debate revealed, he's also a loathsome human being.

The two debated before the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board. It was broadcast live --- now available to watch on the web --- and very informative. Here are some thoughts of ours on several of McP's obfuscations lies comments during the debate.

NOTE: Quotes of his below aren't always exact, but damned near. With one of McP's quotes, however, we had to go back and check three times, just to make sure we heard him right. We did. And we're appalled.

He actually said, "Under Secretary of State Bowen, if that ever happens, I will tell you, the blind and disabled will not be eligible to vote privately and independently."

Bowen replied gracefully by saying his comment was "shameful" and "not [McPherson's] finest moment."

Our personal replies to that appalling comment, and McP's host of other lies, follow below, and are far less charitable. As you may know, the election for California SoS may prove to be the most important race for the future of the nation's electoral system. Our snarky, point-by-point rebuttal to the truth-challenged McP --- who is working for the voting machine companies, not the voters of California --- follows in full...

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

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Debra Bowen States the Obvious...Necessarily...
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2006 5:30pm PT  

Is this sort of thing actually necessary? Apparently it is.

While the following 10 items seem painfully obvious, apparently these no-brainer items need to be issued as a "Voter Bill of Rights" by CA Secretary of State candidate Debra Bowen, given the mess we currently face (made possible, in no small part, by the hapless, duplicitous current CA SoS Bruce McPherson)...

1. The Right To Register To Vote.
2. The Right To Vote.
3. The Right to Vote In A Tamper-Proof Election.
4. The Right To Vote On Paper.
5. The Right To Have Each Vote Counted Accurately.
6. The Right To Have Election Results Properly Audited.
7. The Right To An Open, Transparent, Public Process.
8. The Right To Elections Officials Who Operate Free of Partisan Influence.
9. The Right To Know that Elected Officials Are Free From the Influence of Campaign Contributions From Voting Machine Vendors.
10. The Right To Find Out How Money Is Being Raised And Spent In The Political Process.

Have we mentioned that Bowen's victory in defeating McPherson is perhaps one the most important elections in the country if we hope to ever see Electoral Integrity in this country again? Sign on to support here...

UPDATE 10:28pm PT: Bowen and McPherson debated today. Video here. Haven't gotten to watch it yet, but McP would never out and out lie would he? Not before an important editorial board, right?

UPDATE 10:33pm PT: Whoops! Just watched the first five minutes and he already did! Go figure...I suspect there are many more to come.

UPDATE 10/18/06 4:37pm PT: Holy cow! Lies o' plenty! And more! Full coverage of the debate now here...

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Disabled-Accessible Paper Ballot Device Torpedoed as State Changes Testing Procedures, Refuses to Certify System
Company Files Suit with California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board
By John Gideon on 10/18/2006 9:32am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

In August Vote-PAD learned that the California Secretary of State had decided to deny them certification that would allow Vote-PAD's voting assistive devices to be used in the state of California. They did this even though some counties had already contracted for Vote-PAD or were in the purchase process and even though Vote-PAD showed clear and convincing evidence that the testing process was biased. This denial by Bruce McPherson and his underlings led to the now famous "Off With Their Heads" blog here at The BRAD BLOG.

On Monday Vote-PAD issued a press release to inform the public that they had filed a formal complaint with the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board. According to the press release, Vote-PAD "asserts that the Secretary of State violated a number of State and Federal protections during the Vote-PAD certification process: 'a violation of the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitutions of both the United States and the State of California, a breach of contract, a violation of the California Administrative Procedures Act, a violation of the Election Code provisions governing voting system certification and an abuse of discretion in the Secretary's authority to certify voting systems.'"

The full press release follows...

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

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Internal Memo from SoS Office to County Election Officials Informs That Any CA Voter is Entitled to Choose Paper over Plastic!
Apparent Response by Republican State Officials to Our National Call for Emergency Paper Ballots Causes Concern for Some...
By Brad Friedman on 10/16/2006 6:35am PT  

Every California voter who wishes to vote on a paper ballot in this year's general election may do so, The BRAD BLOG has learned, according to an October 3rd, 2006 memo issued by the California Secretary of State's office!

The terse, single-page internal memo, sent to "All County Clerks/Registrars of Voters/Vendors" on CA SoS stationery (download complete memo here [PDF]) instructs elections officials across the state that they should "have an adequate supply of paper ballots" if electronic voting machines should break down or "if a voter chooses not to vote on electronic equipment."

Written by CA's Asst. SoS, Susan Lapsley, the memo was issued in apparent response to our recent call for Congress to introduce and pass immediate "Emergency Paper Ballot" legislation. While bills were subsequently introduced in both the House and Senate, neither chamber succeeded in voting on the legislation before adjourning for the election recess. Eagle-eyed BRAD BLOG readers may remember Lapsley as the one behind the Busby/Bilbray fax to Congress, declaring the Republican Bilbray the winner of the recent CA50 U.S. House Special Election to replace "Duke" Cunningham weeks before it was certified, while thousands of votes remained to be counted --- and well after we had already exposed that the tainted election included voting machine "sleepovers" with poll workers in the days and weeks prior, in contravention of both state and federal law.

Lapsley's memo was written just after Congress adjourned and prior to the letter [PDF] we sent last week, along with more than 50 other Election Integrity organizations and leaders, to all 50 Secretaries of State and Governors calling on them to institute immediate plans and procedures for Emergency Paper Ballots.

The good news here, as we see it, is that all California voters across what Diebold refers to as "the country's largest voting market" may now demand paper ballots when they go to the polling place this year. This will be crucial in counties such as San Diego and San Joaquin, where the Registrars of Voters have chosen to side with the voting machine companies instead of the voters by supplying only hackable touch-screen Diebold voting machines for their citizens this year.

In enormous Los Angeles County, which includes some 8 million voters, such dangerously unreliable touch-screen systems are used only for early voting. It seems clear, however, from Lapsley's memo, that even early voters in LA County may now choose to vote on paper ballots instead!

From the CA SoS' memo...

[A]ll county elections officials shall have an adequate supply of paper ballots, as determined by the elections official, available at the voting locations for use in the event of a temporary loss of the ability to use electronic equipment, or if a voter chooses not to vote on electronic equipment.

This back-up supply can be absentee ballots or other option as determined to be reasonable by the elections official. If absentee ballots are used at the polls the voter need NOT apply for an absentee ballot in order to be able to use it to vote at the polls. You may also use paper provisional ballots to satisfy voters wishing to vote on paper in the event that DRE counties do not have a sufficient supply of absentee ballots to satisy the needs of the precinct voters. In such instances, the ballots of verified eligible voters who wish to vote on paper and are provided a provisional ballot to do so should not be treated as a provisional ballot cast but, rather, as a regular ballot.

Seems clear enough to us. And, we believe, it's very good news for the voters of California in general.

With that in mind, however, some Election Integrity Advocates have expressed concern about the vagaries and other dangers of the Lapsley memo, including the Democratic Secretary of State candidate Debra Bowen and election attorney Paul Lehto, both of whom we have immense respect for...

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

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Challenge to Unconstitutional and Premature Swearing-In of Republican Brian Bilbray Continues...
By Emily Levy on 10/6/2006 10:30am PT  

Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray will meet again in November's election for the 50th Congressional District in San Diego County, California. Because Bilbray was declared the winner of the Special Election on June 6, he will be running as an incumbent this time. However, there has not yet been a trustworthy count of the votes that reportedly brought him into Congress after the initial disputed election. The court case challenging his victory has yet to be resolved.

San Diego voters Barbara Gail Jacobsen and Lillian Ritt filed an election contest challenging Bilbray's reported victory based on a number of factors including the now-infamous Diebold electronic voting machine sleepovers. Judge Yuri Hofmann dismissed that suit after intervention by Republican Congressional leaders claiming that once Bilbray was sworn in, California courts had no jurisdiction to rule on California's election, even though swearing in took place before the election was certified in California. That dismissal is now being appealed by California attorney Ken Simpkins and election attorney Paul Lehto on behalf of Jacobsen and Ritt.

According to Simpkins, this "was a unique situation because they actually swore Bilbray in before we got certification of this election, before all the votes were counted. Congress is basically saying we're going to swear in whoever we want to swear in, it doesn't matter if the election has been completed or not. That's another treading on the state's constitutional right to determine the time, place and manner of elections," he said.

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2006 6:56pm PT  

More VoterAction.org lawsuits and complaints are now being filed to stop the use and/or purchase of electronic voting systems around the country. On Wednesday, two more. One in California, another in Wisconsin.

In Alameda County, CA a suit was filed to stop of the use of Sequoia Voting Systems touch-screen DRE's, alleging the county "has not performed independent, expert security vulnerability testing on its new Sequoia voting equipment. The group claims such testing was a prerequisite stipulated by county supervisors before the county would issue payment for the system." ...

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

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'It's the Help America Vote Act, not the Help Diebold Profit Act,' Says Dem Nominee
State Senator Debra Bowen, Staunch Election Transparency Proponent, Issues Strong Statement on Congressional Initatives!
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2006 8:30am PT  

The Democratic nominee for Secretary of State in California issued a powerful statement in support of recent legislation filed by several Senators and Representatives in both the U.S. House and Senate calling for Emergency Paper Ballots at the polling place this November.

The 11th hour Congressional bills, filed on Tuesday and Wednesday, just days before both chambers adjourn for the Election Recess, will offer voters the right to vote on paper ballots this year and see those costs reimbursed by the Federal Government. The legislation, if passed, is estimated to cost approximately $10 million. It would amend the disastrous 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which has mandated some $3 billion to encourage States and Counties to "upgrade" to electronic voting systems.

Monumental failures in those systems, during primary elections across the country over the last several months, have sent thousands of voters away from the polls without being able to cast any vote at all. The situation could be far worse during the general election when voter turnout will be a great deal higher than it's been so far in the mid-year primaries.

"Remember, it's the 'Help America Vote Act,' not the 'Help Diebold Profit Act,'" said Bowen, in a stinging comment referring to one of America's largest manufacturers of inaccurate, untested, hackable elecronic voting machines. "It's why this low-tech option makes so much sense, especially in light of all of the problems electronic voting machines have had in primary elections this year, not just in California, but also in Texas, Illinois, and most recently Maryland."

The BRAD BLOG originally proposed the idea for Emergency Paper Ballots early last week. The low-tech, high common-sense notion has gained considerable steam since its inception on these pages. It has now been officially introduced as legislation in Congress by Senators Boxer, Dodd, Feingold and Kerry in the Senate, and by Representative Rush Holt and several co-sponsors in the U.S. House.

Bowen's Republican opponent, Sec. of State Bruce McPherson was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and has come under considerable fire for re-certifying Diebold systems in the state in light of severe warnings from his own team of scientific advisors about more than a dozen "serious vulnerabilities" in those particular voting systems.

An investigate report from BlackBoxVoting.org [PDF], a non-partisan E-voting watchdog organization, found that representative of Diebold's had actually drafted official documents on behalf of the California Secretary of State's office!

That same rep, Rob Pelletier, had previously been presenting disinformation in comments here at The BRAD BLOG under the name of "Wally O'Diebold" until he was found out.

Diebold voting systems were decertified in California by McPherson's predecessor, just prior to the 2004 election, when it was discovered the company had been installing uncertified software and systems in several counties across the state. They settled a qui tam (fraud) lawsuit with the state for $2.8 million later that year.

Though the legislation in the Congress so far has been sponsored by Democrats, the problem is a decidedly non-partisan issue. Maryland's Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich recently called for paper ballots to be used in his state this November after failures across the state disenfranchised thousands of voters during their September 12th primary. Maryland, along with Georgia, was Diebold's "showcase" state having installed their paperless electronic touch-screen systems as early as 2002 with the cooperation and ardent support of the Democratic MD Elections Director, Linda Lamone.

Citing the irony of the public outcry for a return to countable paper balloting, the failure of the U.S. Congress to take action on growing concerns, and the plunging confidence rate in electronic voting amongst the American electorate, Bowen said in her statement, "It's about time Congress provides counties with the incentive to allow their voters to cast a paper ballot at the polls on Election Day, a step that will help begin to restore voter confidence in the elections process and the results."

Bowen, in her capacity as chair of the CA State Senate Elections Commission, held hearings in Kern County, California after the state's marred June 6th primary, when voting systems failed to start up --- or sometimes even show up at the polls at all --- until hours after voting was supposed to have begun. The Kern County Registrar of Voters had, incredibly, given instructions that "back-up paper ballots were not to be used" on Election Day according to the State Senators statement.

"Kern County is the reason why I wish counties were required to provide this option to voters," Bowen remarked.

Citizens are asked to call upon Congress to pass the Emergency Paper Ballot legislation immediately. You may easily contact your Senators here, and your House Members here.

Debra Bowen's complete statement on Emergency Paper Ballots follows in full...

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

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San Mateo Co. California's Warren Slocum Makes The Right Decision For The Right Reason
By John Gideon on 9/22/2006 9:28am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

While we don't shy away from talking about the corrupt, the wrong thinking, the un-caring elections officials in our country we don't often get a chance to recognize those who actually do a good job and show that they really do care. I would guess that 90% of the elections officials fall into the category of the caring but it is that 10% who get talked about. I want to change that a bit and talk about one who has made a good decision.

Warren Slocum is the Chief Elections Director of San Mateo County, California. The county has recently decided that they will use Hart Intercivic eSlate Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines at the polls from now on. That's not a good decision because the eSlates are just as bad as the rest, but it was a decision made and we have to move on.

It has just been reported in the San Mateo Daily Journal that Slocum has decided that there is not enough time for him to be assured that his voters and poll workers can become acclimated to the new voting machines by the general election in November. The polls were supposed to have three to six of the eSlates but now voters will find only one eSlate and paper ballots. Slocum is giving up quick results reporting for integrity and we applaud that.

If only Cuyahoga County, Ohio elections officials had decided on integrity instead of rushing out voting machines that were unfamiliar. If only Maryland elections officials had decided on integrity instead of rushing out an unproven and ripe for failure e-poll book device. And the same "If only..." can be echoed all over the country this primary season.

Thank you Warren Slocum for having integrity and for putting your voters and poll workers first.

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Princeton Professor Says Key To Gain Entry To Memory Card Is Standard Key Found Anywhere
By John Gideon on 9/18/2006 9:14am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

The UK's SC News reported today that Princeton's Professor Felten discovered that the key to gain entry to the memory card slot on the Diebold AccuVote TS is the same key that you may have to open your desk drawer, filing cabinet or even a hotel mini-bar [emphasis added]:

"The access panel door on a Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine - the door that protects the memory card that stores the votes and is the main barrier to the injection of a virus - can be opened with a standard key that is widely available on the internet," Ed Felten, professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University, said today on his "Freedom to Tinker" blog.

Felten said he became aware of the problem when, after performing a demonstration concerning the security flaws of Diebold machines, Princeton staff member Chris Tengi noticed the key that came with the voting machine was the same one he had at home.

"This seemed like a freakish coincidence - until we learned how common these keys are," Felten said. "Chris' key was left over from a previous job, maybe 15 years ago. He said the key opened either a file cabinet or the access panel on an old VAX computer. A little research revealed that the exact same key is used widely in office furniture, electronic equipment, jukeboxes and hotel mini-bars. It's a standard part, and like most standard parts, it's easily purchased on the internet."

Avi Rubin, Johns-Hopkins University Professor and computer scientist, points out in his blog this morning:

"This example serves to illustrate to even non-technical people the public relations tactics of the vendor and its supporters. Was it really too difficult for them to design a more secure key? Who do they think they are fooling when they say that someone would have to pick the lock to access the memory cards?"

So we now have a key that can be obtained from nearly anywhere and a "secret" password [1111] that everyone knows, and Diebold's David Bear says if proper access controls are maintained at the polling place there should be no problems. Perhaps Bear is talking about someone looking over the voter's shoulder to ensure they don't spend two minutes hacking into the machine?

All of this comes on the heels of the report from Princeton University, thanks to The BRAD BLOG, that was first reported here.

As well, it comes on the heels of the challenge to the Busby/Bilbray special U.S. House election in June in San Diego when these Diebold voting machines were sent home overnight --- in violation of both state and federal law --- for "sleepovers" with poll workers for days and weeks prior to the election. Here's a video that we missed at the time: Poll workers, on May 30th, taking home their pre-programmed, election-ready Diebold voting machines to store in their houses and cars 7 days prior to the June 6th election!

Any of them could easily have opened the "secure" systems with a mini-bar key, or, as the Princeton folks demonstrated on FOX "News" last week, they could have picked the lock themselves in 10 seconds. Of course, as we now know, it would have taken them less than a minute thereafter to insert a vote-flipping virus on the machines which could then affect every other machine used in the race.

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Election Nullification Rejected! As Plaintiffs Seek to Prevent National Use of the 'Constitution as a Weapon'!
Jurisdictional Issue, Previously Used to Dismiss Case, to be Challenged on Appeal!
By Emily Levy on 9/8/2006 10:50am PT  

Guest blogged by Emily Levy

The BRAD BLOG has learned that the plaintiffs in the Busby/Bilbray CA-50 election contest will be appealing the recent dismissal of the case by a San Diego judge. The appeal will be filed in California's 4th District court. Briefs are now being prepared and funds being collected for what may be a rather expensive appeal. Notice of appeal may be filed as soon as today.

Donations to the appeal can be made via Velvet Revolution.

The appeal is a rejection of Judge Yuri Hofmann’s August 29 ruling which echoed GOP claims that the U.S. House of Representatives, not the state courts or voters, have the power to determine the outcome of elections of members of Congress. In California’s 50th Congressional district in San Diego County, Republican candidate Brian Bilbray was announced to be the winner of the June 6 special election, flown to Washington and sworn in before all the votes were counted or the election certified. That, after reports were initially broken, and well circulated by The BRAD BLOG revealing that the Diebold voting machines used in the elelection were sent home with poll workers for overnight "sleepovers" in the days and weeks preceding the "bellwether" U.S. House special election.

Those sleepovers, in which election works had unsupervised access to the highly hackable, programmed, election-ready voting systems, were in contravention of both state and federal laws and led to a filing of an election contest in early July.

Says attorney Paul Lehto, who argued the plaintiffs' case in Hofmann’s court...

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

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Miriam Raftery has the skinny
By Winter Patriot on 9/6/2006 12:46pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Miriam Raftery:
Court rules against voter-supervised elections, attorney tells RawCourt rules against voter-supervised elections, attorney tells Raw

Run right over there and read it!

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Says Once and Current Candidate: 'Looking at it from hindsight, perhaps we should have gotten more involved'
UPATED! Transcript and Audio now available!
By Winter Patriot on 8/31/2006 4:49pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Word just in! Francine Busby will be on the radio with Peter B. Collins beginning at 8:15pm Eastern time. That's 7:15 Central, 6:15 Mountain and 5:15 Pacific, of course.

If you're in (or near) Monterey, Sacramento, Eureka or Phoenix, you can listen via broadcast radio.Otherwise your only option is a streaming webcast.

Either way, click here for more details.

UPDATE: A recording of Francine Busby's interview with Peter B. Collins is now available. Click here to download it (MP3).

We now have a transcript, courtesy of Emily Levy. That's below the fold.

We're also trying to get the audio for Busby's appearance on The Stacy Taylor Show on KLSD this morning, too. Will post it when/if we get it.

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

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Strong Statement, in Wake of Lawsuit Tossed on 'Jurisdictional Grounds', a First Since Illegally Adminstered June 6th U.S. House Special Election!
'North County Times' Provides Decent Coverage of Debacle...
By Brad Friedman on 8/30/2006 7:30am PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

"It's outrageous," says Francine Busby, "that this judge just said the state of California doesn't have jurisdiction over our own elections, over this election."

Busby's remarks, in a report today by William Finn Bennett in the North County Times, were a suprising departure from her previously guarded stance concerning the challenge of the June 6th U.S. House Special Election between herself and Brian Bilbray.

"What happened today should be of concern to all voters," Busby reportedly said.

Bennett's coverage of yesterday's debacle in the San Diego County courtroom where Judge Yuri Hoffman dismissed the election contest in support of the defendants' arguments that the U.S. House, not the voters or courts of California, have jurisdication to adjudicate election challenges after the House has already seated a member, is quite good. Indeed, it was a refreshing departure from previous sloppy, sometimes wholly inaccurate and occassionally entirely partisan North County Times reports and commentary on the case (see this embarrasing commentary from Jim Trageser for the most egregious.)

Bennett's report today, on the other hand, quite fairly describes the court's atrocious decision which we reported on in detail yesterday. Here's a sample from his coverage...

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

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Finds Rushed Swearing in of Presumed Winner Bilbray by U.S. House --- Just 7 Days After Election and 16 Days Before Certification --- Transferred Power to Decide Election Outcome to Congress
California Voters, Courts Left Powerless to Challenge Illegally Administered Election According to Ruling
By Emily Levy on 8/29/2006 4:37pm PT  

A judge in the San Diego challenge to the Francine Busby/Brian Bilbray U.S. House Special Election in California's 50th Congressional District has found in favor of the defendants' motion to dismiss the case based on jurisdictional grounds, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

We have covered the defendants' argument, that the swearing in of Bilbray --- just seven days after the election and a full 16 days prior to certification by San Diego County --- effectively transferred power to decide any election challenges from the California courts to the U.S. House of Representatives. Those arguments are discussed in detail in several previous BRAD BLOG articles (here, here, here and here.)

The defendants' attempts to force plaintiffs to cover the cost of attorneys fees (a so-called "SLAPP back" motion) was denied by Judge Yuri Hofmann based on the same jurisdicational arguments used to dismiss the case, according to the plaintiffs' attorney, Paul Lehto. Since the California court has no jurisdication to adjudicate an election contest for a California U.S. House election, according to the court's opinion, it also has no jurisidiction to find against plaintiffs in the "SLAPP back" motion, explained Lehto.

VelvetRevolution.us is now collecting donations to help defray the cost of an appeal of this ruling.

Extended EXCLUSIVE comments on the judge's ruling today, from attorney Paul Lehto are below, followed by Hofmann's ruling in its entirety...

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

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