One of the more bizarre incidents we've come across this election...
w/ Brad & Desi
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
One of the more bizarre incidents we've come across this election...
Scheduled for tonight's Media-Reform-a-Palooza:
POST-SHOW UPDATE: I'm delighted that our friends at KRXA 540am in Monterey, CA also decided to pick up and simulcast last night's show as well! Thanks to those who tuned in and called in!
Thanks to the good folks at LFTLC.com for removing commercials, these "hours" are appx. 40 mins each...
HOUR 1: White House v. Fox "News". And Frank Schaeffer on the looming danger of rightwing extremism...
Download MP3 or listen online below...
HOUR 2: Sue Wilson on reforming the media...
Download MP3 or listen online below...
Just got called in, at last minute, to guest host for Angie Coiro's Live from the Left Coast on San Francisco's Green960am (KKGN). If you're not in SF, you can listen online from 6p-8p PT tonight (Thursday), log onto the live blog chat room at AngieCoiro.com, and/or give us a call at 866-960-5733!
What will we talk about? You'll know, like me, just as soon as I start talking about it!
POST-SHOW UPDATE: Fun show. First hour on what the hell to do about Dems, second hour with Norman Solomon of Institute for Public Accuracy, just back from Afghanistan, on the mess we've got there, and what can possibly be done now. Archives should be posted at LFTLC.com soon! Thanks all!
AUDIO NOW AVAILABLE: You can listen online over at the lftlc.com website...
Guest Blogged by Sue Wilson
On August 11, 2009, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, in a unanimous vote, became the first elected body in the United States to stand up to Hate Radio. Their resolution urges "the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to conduct a comprehensive investigation on hate speech in the media, allowing public participation via public hearings, and asks the NTIA [National Telecommunications and Information Administration] to update its 1993 report on the Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes."
For two years, San Francisco's Hispanic/Latino Anti-Defamation Coalition (HLADC) has been trying to get some traction on this issue. They've staged rallies against Michael Savage, worked with the Media Alliance, Common Cause and Broadcast Blues to protest hate radio, and supported the National Hispanic Media Coalition's campaign to convince the FCC and NTIA to act. But HLADC leader Aurora Grajedas saw she could better effect national change by working with her own city's board of supervisors. Acting locally is a good lesson for all activists.
Still, there is resistance to any such study, as opponents charge these groups are trying to shut down the first amendment. But let us be clear, Radio Speech is not Free Speech. I will stand by Glenn Beck's right to stand on the street corner and say illegal immigrants should be made into a new fuel called "Mexinol." I may not like it, but I stand by his right to say it. But there is a difference between shouting on the street corner and broadcasting all over the country.
Broadcasting pioneers witnessed the power of propaganda with radio Tokyo Rose, so they worked with government on two key broadcast regulations. First, to qualify for a license to broadcast on the public airwaves, stations had to serve the public interest, which became defined as local news, political debates, equal time, and a rule that said no personal attacks. Second, one person could own just 6 radio stations, nationwide. There were a lot of "street corners" in radio.
Today there are almost none...
Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story, the critically-acclaimed, award-winning documentary based on The BRAD BLOG's years-long investigation of the remarkable story, is screening on Sunday (5/7) @ 4pm at San Francisco's Roxie Theater as part of the Burning Fuse Film Festival (screening details here, video preview of festival here).
If you're in the 'hood, spread the word and please drop in to check it out! It's horrifying, gripping, and even funny (and yes, I'm in it, but it's good anyway.) If you're not in that 'hood or can't get there, click here to see how you can get your own copy of the DVD version signed by both myself and filmmaker Patty Sharaf!
Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.
On Election Day this November, voters in San Francisco will vote on a local initiative to rename one of the city's largest waste treatment plants in honor of George W. Bush. If the initiative passes --- and since the number of Republicans in the city is statistically zero, it very well might --- the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant will be forever known as the George W. Bush Sewage Plant. It is as fitting a monument to the eight years of the Bush presidency as we can think of, with the possible exception of naming a garbage dump after him.
The San Francisco effort is the work-product of local activists who came up with the idea in the most grassroots of all settings: over beers. Subsequently, the group set up the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco, which handled promotion for the petition drive. On Thursday, the city's Department of Elections certified that the 7,168 signatures the commission submitted were valid and approved the initiative for the November ballot.
Although the organizers in San Francisco are clear that their effort is satire, this is a cause that grassroots organizers in other cities should consider seriously. This nationwide effort could be similar to, but hopefully more successful than, the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, which was the brainchild of the anti-government lobbyist Grover Norquist, who is best known for his close associations with corrupt Bush cronies like (now-imprisoned) Jack Abramoff and (perhaps incarcerated one day) Karl Rove.
-- Brad Friedman
As if Sequoia Voting Systems doesn't have enough trouble already, the company now needs some $2 million dollars in cash...quickly. Without it, it is likely to be subsumed by one of its nearest competitors, Hart InterCivic of Austin, TX, as soon as next Tuesday, The BRAD BLOG has learned.
In what could well be a major shift on the American election industry landscape --- and certainly on elections themselves in dozens of states across the country --- voting machine company Hart InterCivic informed the current owners of the beleaguered Sequoia of their intention to acquire ownership of the company in a move which could take effect as early as next week.
The attempted hostile takeover --- which, we've learned, has been quietly in the works behind the scenes since mid-February --- has set off a building panic among the senior management and owners at Sequoia, whose money woes had already led them to schedule a shut-down of their Oakland headquarters. That shop is to close within a matter of months, as the operations for the company are to be consolidated at its Denver offices.
The takeover by Hart is made possible in the wake of a deal made by Sequoia's current owners, SVS Holdings, Inc., with its former owners, the off-shore consortium Smartmatic. Smartmatic was forced to give up control of the company after the media and Congress noticed in 2006 that the company had ties to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. The officers and owners of SVS are comprised largely of previous Sequoia officials who took over the company after Smartmatic's failed attempt to find an outside buyer in 2006. The deal resulted in an agreement between SVS and Smartmatic for the latter to hold a $2 million note from the purchase. Smartmatic now appears ready to sell that note to Hart as part of a $16 million dollar deal which SVS has a contractual right to match within a 60-day period, ending on April 15th.
Sequoia is believed by election experts to be this country's third largest voting machine company, followed by Hart. The combined operation, should the takeover be completed, could well create a new powerhouse in the industry, displacing #2 Diebold/Premier, and coming up just behind the country's currently largest election vendor, ES&S.
Court documents obtained by The BRAD BLOG reveal that Hart notified SVS of its intention to purchase the $2 million note held by Smartmatic on February 15th, giving the group of owners and share holders of SVS --- including CEO and President Jack Blaine, and VPs Michelle Shafer and Edwin Smith (whose names BRAD BLOG readers may recognize) --- just 60 days to match the offer Hart had given to Smartmatic. As the deadline nears, Due Dilligence processes have begun, and are near the final phases of completion at Sequoia...whether company management likes it or not.
Hart's move has sent Sequoia/SVS executives into a legal and financial tizzy and --- perhaps taking a page from Hillary Clinton's campaign book --- the company seems to be throwing the legal kitchen sink at both Hart and Smartmatic in an attempt to nullify Hart's offer. Court documents reveal arguments that Hart's is not a "bona fide" offer that SVS is legally required to match. So far, however, those legal maneuvers, reflected by a dizzying array of motions and cross-motions, suits and counter-suits --- completely unreported by anyone in the media until now --- have all been summarily and soundly rejected by the Delaware magistrate adjudicating the matter.
Every legal effort by Sequoia and SVS to dispatch with the hostile takeover attempt has failed miserably so far, leading Vice Chancellor Stephen P. Lamb of the Court of Chancery in Delaware to even describe one such legal theory of SVS' as...(big irony alert!)...a "conspiracy theory"!
But while Sequoia faces a plethora of legal liabilities concerning their oft-failed voting systems, Hart InterCivic faces its own share of challenges with a pending --- and damning --- federal fraud/qui tam suit against the company, as unsealed late last month. Moreover, Hart's acquisition plan could face scrutiny from members of Congress and Treasury Department officials, as well as states across the country who thought they had turned over control of their elections to Sequoia, only to soon learn there will be a new owner, not of their choosing, of the secret software and devices which determine the results of their public elections.
While litigation over claims of fraud and failure in both company's voting systems await, so does at least one major prize to the victor of this grudge match: New York state's soon-to-be-completed $100 million deal with Sequoia...or maybe now with Hart...or...whoever...
Was a fairly raucus hour on today's Peter B. Collins Show (where I appear regularly in the 5pm PT hour on Fridays), as PBC has now been added to San Francisco's Green960, his latest affiliate station for his syndicated daily radio show.
Tons of great callers today (including a great wingnut call at the end of the hour) along with much buzz about the West Coast premieres of Uncounted. Two screenings will be sponsored in part by PBC's show and KSAC 1240am in Sacramento and Green960 in Oakland, on January 15th & 17th respectively.
I'll be showing up at both to speak at the Q&A's, and would love to see ya there! The owner of Oakland's Grand Lake Theater, Allen Michaan, called in during the show today to say that he'd run another screening at 9:30pm if we filled up the first one at 7pm! With 600 seats in this great old movie palace (see pix at link above) our work is cut out for us, so I hope you'll come by if you're anywhere near. More info here, with more to come soon.
Here's the cool 60 second spot that PBC is running to promote the screenings...
And here's today's hour in full. MP3 download, or listen online...
Blogged by Brad from St. Louis, MO...
"San Francisco's experience with ES&S raises extremely troubling questions, not simply about the integrity of this company's technology, but about the integrity of this company itself," San Francisco's City Attorney Dennis Herrera said today in announcing his new lawsuit against Elections Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S).
"There can be no more important duty in a representative democracy than to conduct elections, and it is a travesty to see that duty so flagrantly undermined by the fraudulent conduct of an election systems vendor," he added.
Well, no kidding! To quote from It's a Wonderful Life, "'Bout time one of you lunkheads said it!"
The suit filed today against ES&S, the "world's largest", comes on the heels of yesterday's announcement that California Secretary of State Debra Bowen was filing her own suit, to the tune of some $15 million, against the company for their illegal and undeclared use of uncertified touch-screen voting systems in several counties across the state, as well as their having lied about it to the state.
The Fog City Journal's coverage of the SF lawsuit begins this way...
We've been calling for some time for states and counties to hold the voting machine companies accountable for their horrendous, out and out fraudulent business practices. Looks like the floodgates may finally be starting to open.
So who's next? Make no mistake, there will be more. Perhaps many. Stay tuned...
Comey testifies --- and the logic of the process of elimination begins to set in. Even the congressional GOP may have to acknowledge that the Department of Justice was not the instigator in those weirdly self-destructive, unprecedented firings of several mostly Republican US Attorneys, mid-term, during a Republican administration. That was the impression I got while sitting in the hearing room this morning at the U.S. Capitol.
Former Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey testified at a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law this morning. Spending no time or ink on a prepared statement, Comey, who had been subpoenaed by the Committee, devoted approximately two hours to answering questions from the mostly Democratic members present. The hearing, which most GOP members skipped, was chaired by Linda Sanchez (D-CA).
As Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) said in opening, “What we don’t know is who actually placed the names of the US Attorneys on the firing lists.”
Comey plugged up one hole: it was not he.
Unlike Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at a previous hearing, Comey did not testify under oath (a staffer for the Subcommittee explains that anyone who testifies to Congress is subject to penalty for perjury). Comey did, however, speak clearly and unequivocally. He said in answer to questions that, as Deputy Attorney General, he was the supervisor directly above the US Attorneys, and in response to key questions from Democratic members, Comey stated flatly that...
San Francisco is considering "upgrading" their voting systems to use Sequoia machines. They are demanding that the company publicly disclose their software source code for all to see. It's called transparency. That's a good thing.
But Sequoia is refusing. Yesterday, there was another discussion/debate on the topic at an SF Board of Supes hearing. The San Francisco Examiner reported this laugh line from the Sequoia spokeshole:
For those just joining the fun, who may be unfamiliar with guffaw-worthiness of Bennet's claim about concern for the security of his company's shitty voting systems, we'll refer you to this small sampling of previous relevant BRAD BLOG articles:
...Along with a heads up that we'll have more --- much more --- on Sequoia's "concerns" about the security of their voting systems (or lack thereof) in a detailed investigative report in the very near future...
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