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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, February 1, 2015
GOP 'Voter Fraud' Fraudster Testifies 'Not a Victim' Just Subject of Govt 'Inquisition'
'True The Vote' huckster Catherine Engelbrecht also warns of 'trickle down tyranny', 'civil unrest' at Lynch's Senate AG confirmation hearing...
'Green News Report' 1/29/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
U.S. pipelines keep rupturing; So, Senate passes Keystone XL bill; Obama boosts nukes in India; End of fossil fuel subsidies?; PLUS: Scottish frack ban & some great 'Fox News'!...
Previous GNRs: 1/27/15 - 1/22/15 - Archives...
D'Stupid: 'Intellectual Wing of the Conservative Movement' On Global Warming
Dinesh D'Souza offers another quick reminder of how even the 'smart' Rightwingers are proud to be clueless about science...
BMW Super Bowl Ad: 'What's An Internet?'
Electric car spot throws back to Katie Couric and Bryan Gumble in 1994. ALSO: Please give us an electric car. Thanks!...
'Green News Report' 1/27/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
The not-so-historic Blizzard 2015!; Interior Dept. to expand offshore drilling; Another pipeline explodes in WV; PLUS: Obama calls on GOP to permanently protect ANWR...
Previous GNRs: 1/22/15 - 1/20/15 - Archives...
Phony GOP 'Voter Fraud' Activist to Testify at Real Senate Nomination Hearing
'True the Vote' founder Catherine Engelbrecht slated by Senate Repubs as 'expert witness' at AG-nominee Lorreta Lynch confirmation...
Sorry, Fox, But No 'News' Is Good News
White House (accurately) fails to include 'News' on the place cards of Fox 'News' anchors at special luncheon, so they have a sad...
'Rights'? What 'Rights'?
Yes, elections have consequences. Repubs take control of Senate Judiciary subcommittee and dump 'Civil Rights and Human Rights' from its name...
Hannity Must Hate the Keystone XL Pipeline!
Foreign owner TransCanada has filed eminent domain action to sieze property of private landowners in Nebraska...
'Green News Report' 1/22/15
Obama's climate SOTU; Repubs give Keystone XL pipeline a new name; MT pipeline spill spews oil, benzene; PLUS: GOP votes climate change not a hoax -- but...
St. Louis County Election Director Ousted
Official who ignored pre-election warnings, obtained by BRAD BLOG, about likely paper ballot shortages in November, tossed by Election Board...
The Progressive State of the Union:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Deconstructing Obama's SOTU and GOP response. An in-studio roundtable with Heather 'Digby' Parton, David Dayen of Salon, John Amato of Crooks & Liars...
Only 41% Support Keystone XL, But...
That's the good news. The not-as-good news is more surprising, though perhaps we shouldn't be surprised at all by it by now. (Or by the latest pipeline spill in Montana)...
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...


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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But in the meantime, we have a transcript of Friday's oral arguments --- just for you!
By Winter Patriot on 8/29/2006 11:05am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Judge Yuri Hofmann of the California Superior Court is expected to rule this afternoon on the arguments presented Friday.

The plaintiffs in the CA50 Election Contest are asking for a manual count of ballots from the June 6th House special election, which was held to replace former Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who resigned after being unable to contain the fallout from a major bribery scandal.

The defendants are arguing that California no longer has any jurisdiction over the election since the Republican U.S. House went ahead and swore in Brian Bilbray just 7 days after the election, with thousands of votes still uncounted, and certification still several weeks away...

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

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Did Congress Ask California for Permission to Nullify a California Election???
Are You Dizzy Yet?...There's More! Effort to Recall Dennis Hastert Begins!
By Emily Levy on 8/28/2006 7:57pm PT  

Guest blogged by Emily Levy

You know by now that Brian Bilbray was sworn in as Congressional Representative before the June 6 election in San Diego County, CA was certified. You might even remember reading on The BRAD BLOG that the official swearing in was preceded by a public "mock" swearing in. You learned last week that this premature act is now being used by the defendants in the Busby/Bilbray election contest as an attempt to nullify the election in California's 50th district. But today (drum roll please) Michael Collins of Scoop Independent News reveals that it was Assistant California SoS Susan Lapsley (seen in photo) who provided the election results to the House.

Collins points us to the Congressional Digest...

Representative-elect Brian P. Bilbray presented himself in the well of the House and was administered the Oath of Office by the Speaker. Earlier the Clerk of the House transmitted a facsimile copy of the unofficial returns of the Special Election held on June 6, 2006 from Ms. Susan Lapsley, Assistant Secretary of State for Elections, California Secretary of State Office, indicating that the Honorable Brian P. Bilbray was elected Representative in Congress for the Fiftieth Congressional District of California.

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

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California SoS Denies Certification To Vote-PAD
By John Gideon on 8/28/2006 4:55pm PT  

"Off with Their Heads!" cried the Queen of Hearts

"How am I to get in?" asked Alice again, in a louder tone.
"Are you to get in at all?" said the Footman. "That's the first question, you know."

It was a Queen of Hearts sort of a day in California on August 9, 2006. The Secretary of State's advisory panel was hearing public comments regarding the pending certification of the Vote-PAD, a non-electronic assistive device designed to help voters with disabilities mark and verify a paper ballot independently.

Voting integrity advocates held signs supporting the certification of Vote-PAD. They told of countless failures of computerized voting systems. They spoke about recent discoveries of easily hackable "back doors" into the vote totals on those systems, which have been certified. By contrast, "Vote-PAD is no more hackable than a #2 pencil," said one.

Notwithstanding this and the letters praising the Vote-PAD from dozens of people with visual and motor disabilities, the Secretary of State's staff was recommending against certifying the Vote-PAD for use in California.

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/28/2006 1:34pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

In addition to Emily Levy's coverage here on Friday night, and Winter Patriot's coverage last Thursday (which includes actual briefs and letters filed in the case), Miriam Raftery filed a superb summation at RAW STORY today of where the Busby/Bilbray CA50 Election Contest stands as of last Friday's hearing. She includes several details which the Guest Bloggers here hadn't previously touched on --- including details on the defendants' attempts at a frivolous "SLAPP suit" against the plaintiffs --- so we recommend giving her piece a quick read.

The Judge on the case in San Diego, Yuri Hofmann, is to decide tomorrow on the defense's argument that the case should be tossed out on jurisdictional grounds because, they argue, the Constitution gives the U.S. Congress --- not California voters or California courts --- the right to ultimately adjudicate such election challenges...even before, as in this case, the election was actually certified by the county or the state. No, seriously, that's what Brian Bilbray's attorneys are actually arguing. Out loud.

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Takes Constitutional and Jurisdictional Matters Under Advisement
Could Judge Hofmann Be Prying the NeoCon Boot Off His Neck?
By Emily Levy on 8/25/2006 5:52pm PT  

Guest bloged by Emily Levy

Judge Yuri Hofmann announced in his San Diego courtroom today that he will take the constitutional and jurisdictional matters of the CA-50 election challenge case under advisement and issue a ruling next Tuesday, August 29.

The first item up for consideration today in the election contest filed by Attorneys Paul Lehto and Ken Simpkins on behalf of two San Diego voters (and truly on behalf of all of us) was a defense motion for dismissal. Defense claimed that the San Diego court has no jurisdiction in this matter because the Constitution says, “Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members…” (Article I, Section 5). In other words, The House of Representatives gets to pick its members. (Who really needs elections, anyway?)

Lehto, in response, argued--as outlined here--that if the court has no jurisdiction, then Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas also had no jurisdiction to certify the election, given that certification happened after Bilbray was sworn in. (Yes, you heard that right.)

The defendants also argued that the court has no jurisdiction because plaintiffs had abandoned their recount efforts. According to Lehto, the request for a recount was filed properly within five days of certification of the election. Lehto says, "Jurisdiction was created by filing. That's all the statute says. There is no abandonment rule."

The judge is expected to rule on both the constitutional and jurisdictional issues on Tuesday.

From the courthouse by cell phone plaintiff Barbara Gail Jacobsen reported, "Paul Lehto and Ken Simpkins represented us very well today in court. Lehto said it's invading the sovereignty of the State if someone swoops in and swears the person in and then says there’s nothing you can do. I thought he made some very good arguments about upholding checks and balances in our system and standing up for the right of the people to make sure that elections are accountable. We the People of this country decide on who is going to represent us, and it’s through making sure that our elections are sound that we can know for sure that we have elected people that we want to transfer power to. In this particular case what Paul Lehto was trying to say is that the people's right to know if the election was properly carried out is being blindfolded and taken away by the other side."

We can only hope that before Tuesday Judge Hofmann will have the opportunity to read the rest of the Constitution. It could be enlightening.

Donations are still needed for the lawsuit and other efforts in California’s 50th District to fight the illegal June 6 election. For more information, go to nosleepovers.org.

UPDATE: We have another report of the day's proceedings, this one from Judy Hess of CA 50 Action Committee:

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

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Plaintiff in Response: 'Defendant's Argument Means Election Is Uncertified, Never Happened'
UPDATED! NOW WITH A LIVE REPORT FROM THE COURTHOUSE! where Attorney Paul Lehto Claims 'Election Nullification Argument' is Absurd, Power Grab by Speaker of the U.S. House...
By Winter Patriot on 8/24/2006 10:27pm PT  


Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

UPDATE: We have a live update from the courthouse. You can see it at the bottom of this post

We haven't been covering the CA50 Election Mess as often as in the recent past --- while Brad's been on the road and otherwise occupied --- but we have been keeping our ears to the ground, so to speak. (Yes, they get dirty, but so what? We can hear things coming before they happen. It's cool; you should try it.)

My friends, we have been hearing distant rumblings of great power. To get you up to speed quickly...

The CA50 U.S. House special election between Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray was held on June 6, on illegal Diebold voting machines as has been reported here many times. (Click here for a good recent summary of the situation.) On June 13, Bilbray was quickly sworn in to the House of Representatives while thousands of votes were still being counted back in San Diego. (This surprised and angered many voters, especially since a poll taken three weeks before the election showed Busby ahead by 7%.) On June 29, the election was finally certified --- in favor of Bilbray --- by the Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas.

The election was contested on July 29 after Haas refused to allow for a hand count of the ballots, as allowed by California state law. And on August 22, defendants filed a brief in the case to dismiss, stating that because Bilbray has already been sworn in (by the Republican House of Representatives,) the California Court has no jurisdiction whatsoever and the House has exclusive jurisdiction to judge who its members are and the qualifications of those members.

According to an email sent to The BRAD BLOG this evening from attorney Paul Lehto...

The defendants' position is that the court is powerless (i.e. without jurisdiction) to do anything about this election contest, because Bilbray was sworn in only 7 days after the June 6, and long before the election was legally final on or about June 29.

This premature termination of the election in the 50th Congressional District by the swearing in took place while votes were literally still being counted and provisional votes were still being counted, and also this premature swearing-in took place well before the 1% ballot audit required as part of the certification process, and also occurred fully 16 days prior to the official certification of the results.

The defendant's premature swearing-in at the command of Washington DC politicians, if it had any legal effect at all, necessarily means that if there's no power for a Court in San Diego County to protect and review our elections for Congress, there was certainly no power and no jurisdiction for defendant Registrar Haas to certify the results of the election, either.

The swearing in simply terminated the election in mid-count. Consequently, the defendants' arguments about the court's lack of power also mean that this uncertified election does not legally exist, in the legal sense that the election never happened, and this election never became final because it has never been certified at a time when anybody in San Diego had any power to do anything about it.

Because no election is decided or over until it's officially certified, this election was actually decided in Washington DC, and not decided in San Diego's 50th Congressional District.

So there you have it. This is the stick with which Paul Lehto is trying to beat a corrupted electoral machine back into shape.

Here's Lehto's brief responding to the absurd position [PDF] taken by the defendants in this case.

The judge is set to give his decision on the jurisdictional matter Friday, determining whether or not the case will be tossed out based on the argument of the defendants. The court hearing on this matter begins at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time in San Diego.

UPDATE... Michael Collins at Scoop has more. And now, so do we --- below the fold...

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

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