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McClatchy: Prosecutors in 9 Battleground States Targeted, 7 Related to 'Voter Fraud' Prosecution
WaPo: 26 Attorneys Targetted in All (So Far)
By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2007 8:45pm PT  

It's getting really hard to keep up. But let's give it a quick shot...

Last night, McClatchy's Margaret Talev and Marisa Taylor reported two more U.S. Attorneys were targeted for firing for failing to bring cases based on bogus GOP claims of "voter fraud." That brought the number of election swing-states where attorneys were targeted to 9. In 7 of them, as of now, the reasons for wanting to get rid of them are related to "alleged Democratic voter fraud."

All of which underscores our previous thesis and the one discussed in Greg Palast's BRAD BLOG exclusive posted a thousand years ago (yesterday), that it's all about the '08 Election.

Then comes WaPo today suggesting that a total of 26 U.S. Attorneys in all --- that's 1 in 4 of the 93 total USAs --- had been targeted for possible removal at one time or another:

The Justice Department considered dismissing many more U.S. attorneys than officials have previously acknowledged, with at least 26 prosecutors suggested for termination between February 2005 and December 2006, according to sources familiar with documents withheld from the public.

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales testified last week that the effort was limited to eight U.S. attorneys fired since last June

And then today, McLatchy's Talev and Taylor followed up with more details on some of the latest "voter fraud" targeted prosecutors in Georgia, Virginia, and Florida...

McClatchy Newspapers has learned that the top prosecutors in Macon, Ga., and Roanoke, Va., landed on a proposed firing list weeks after the White House and Justice Department traded notes about the potential for voter-fraud cases in central Georgia and Appalachia. They were added to a list just days before last November's midterm election, but ultimately not fired.
...
One of the targeted prosecutors, Tallahassee's U.S. attorney, Greg Miller, said he didn't know why he would have appeared on the list in February 2005, and then be off it by November 2006.

Miller said he was never pressured by Washington to prosecute voter fraud cases.

Ion Sancho, the Leon County, Fla., election supervisor, said in an interview Thursday that Miller's staff called his office soon after the November 2006 elections requesting a database of voter rolls.

"They told us, 'We want to look for voter fraud,'" he said. "They didn't give me any specific reason."

If the reason isn't clear by now, you're living in a cave. Beyond that, you're all caught up. (Even if the night is still young.)

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Is the Noose Tightening Around Lathrop & Gage, Thor Hearne, Gov. Matt Blunt and the American Center for Voting Rights Corrupt Law Firm?
By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2007 3:46pm PT  

BREAKING from Kansas City Business Journal:

In early April, Tom Stewart announced that he would leave his position as chief executive at Lathrop & Gage LC to become chairman, effective July 1. Instead, he has left the firm altogether.

KC Star's breaking coverage reports that "Stewart held the top job at the firm for 18 years. During his tenure the firm grew from about 60 attorneys to 280."

What might all of this have to do with our coverage of Lathrop & Gage's connection to the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, as we recently reported in some detail here, with followup here?

Given that BizJournal reports the longtime L&G CEO was slated to become Chairman of the firm, before he recently requested a 90-day sabbatical on April 23rd "for matters having to do with personal and family health," before announcing today's sudden departure, the timing --- and excuses --- are certainly notable.

We'll also note here that April 23rd also happens to be the day of our first report tying L&G to the U.S. Attorney scandal.

L&G is the powerful MO law firm of Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, the high-level GOP operative, friend of Rove, national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, and co-founder of the now-defunct "non-partisan" Republican "voter fraud" disinfo group known as the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR). Hearne, in his capacity at L&G, was also Missouri Governor Matt Blunt's long-time right-hand legal man and vote suppression guy. Both Blunt and L&G were being investigated by the Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins in association with the privatization of the lucrative state licensing fee offices when Cummins was axed by DoJ in what may have been the first of the notorious U.S. Attorney purges.

Recently, Cummins was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying "Now I keep asking myself: 'What about the Blunt deal?'"

Blunt's sister Amy was also recently hired as an associate at the firm, but there are more L&G shenanigans and tie-ins to all of this that we've been working on for an upcoming report.

Stay tuned for that, and whatever else we can dig up concerning Stewart's surprise resignation today.

(Hat-tip to "overlander" at dKos)

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR "Voter Fraud" scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR. Your donation to The BRAD BLOG in order to help us continue this investigation and many others, is much appreciated!
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UPDATED - DoJ Responds...
By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2007 4:58pm PT  

Senators Schumer, Feingold, Kennedy and Durbin are curious as to why it seems that Alberto Gonzalez lied about whether or not there was concern in the Dept. of Justice over the legality of Bush's domestic wiretap programming run out of NSA.

Gonzales testified in February of 2006 that there had been no such concerns, but the startling testimony of former Dep. Attorney General James Comey yesterday (video here) tells quite a different story, including a late-night trip by Gonzales and WH Chief of Staff Andrew Card to then-AG John Ashcroft's hospital room in hopes of getting his approval after Comey would not sign off the program. To his credit, Aschroft refused as well. Even after the White House --- apparently Bush himself --- called to inform him that Gonzales and Card were heading over.

The Senators sent the following letter today to Gonzales, reminding him of the apparent huge contradictions in his testimony as compared to Comey's, and to ask him for a "prompt response to the following question: In light of Mr. Comey’s testimony yesterday, do you stand by your 2006 Senate and House testimony, or do you wish to revise it?"

UPDATE: Bob Fertik at Democrats.com suggests it's either "impeach or jail" Gonzo. We'll not disagree. And based on Digby's as-always insightful comments on this, we'll guess she may not disagree either.

UPDATE 5/17: WaPo reports the reply from DoJ to the Senators letter. Their response essentially: the Feb. 2006 testimony is Gonzales' story and he's sticking to it.

The letter to Albert Gonzales from the Senators is posted in full below...

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

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Captain Iglesias, Obstruction of Justice, and the Theft of 2008...
By Greg Palast on 5/16/2007 1:17am PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG by Greg Palast

"The wheels have come off, the engine is on fire and no one is driving," Captain David Iglesias told me yesterday. I'd asked the Naval Reserve officer, heading off to duty in Norfolk, why he didn't want his old job back, United States Attorney for New Mexico.

The busted, burning, ghost-mobile he described is the Department of Justice, driven by Alberto Gonzales. Or is Karl Rove at the wheel? Or no one? Whomever, he didn't want to jump back into Bush's Justice Jalopy.

Today, Iglesias is in Washington to pull the junker off the road, meeting with the Office of Special Counsel where Obstruction of Justice may be swirling around in the old oil pan laying on the garage floor.

The ex-prosecutor and I, long, long ago, had both worked for the Attorney General of New Mexico, a state where the snakes have less venom than the politicians.

First, there's Senator Pete Domenici, whose hiss is as smooth as his bite is deadly.

Domenici, softball interviewer Chris Matthews notes, is a nice guy. On TV. However, the Republican Senator's call to Iglesias at his home, just before the 2006 midterm election, asking the prosecutor about filing charges against Democrats in the week before the vote, was downright rude. When the prosecutor replied in the negative, the Senator hung up.

And apparently, the Senator contacted one Monica Goodling who, scribbled on a notepad: "Iglesias - Domenici says he doesn't move cases." Oops. Goodling, a political stooge working for Gonzales, was listing the reasons for firing US attorneys. Now, rudeness was no longer the issue. Firing a prosecutor for failing to "move cases" --- handcuff citizens at the request of a Senator --- is Obstruction of Justice.

No wonder Monica took The Fifth.

Of course, the Rove dogsbodies at Justice couldn't tell Congress they fired Iglesias because he wouldn't jump at the Senator's rattle. They reached for another complaint on Monica's list: "absentee landlord." Deputy Assistant Attorney General Paul McNulty used absenteeism as the official reason for dismissal. McNulty's resigned.

He should have taken The Fifth....

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

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While White House Connections and Other Key Elements Central to the U.S. Attorney Scandal --- Many Long Ago Reported by The BRAD BLOG --- Still Being Overlooked, Ignored
Investigative Endgame Remains Unclear, Even as the ACVR's Thor Hearne and Other Unindicted Co-Conspirators Continue to Erase Their Tracks...
By Brad Friedman on 5/15/2007 4:43pm PT  

A WaPo article from Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein yesterday, headlined "Voter-Fraud Complaints by GOP Drove Dismissals," reports:

It has been clear for months that the administration's eagerness to launch voter-fraud prosecutions played a role in some of the firings, but recent testimony, documents and interviews show the issue was more central than previously known.

"More central than previously known" to whom? Certainly not BRAD BLOG readers, as we've been reporting on the scam to invent actionable, yet phony "voter fraud" claims via the White House's Thor Hearne-run front group, The American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), since at least March of 2005.

The swing-state hotspots reported by WaPo and others of late, as named by Rove in 2006, etc., are almost precisely the same ones which led the coordinated ACVR effort going back for years. The same locations --- Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Missouri, etc. --- were named in the ACVR's phony report on phony "voter fraud" released back in July of 2005. We covered it at that time, while few, if any, in the MSM --- certainly not WaPo --- bothered to take notice.

As we reported back then, in our August 2, 2005 article headlined, "Phony GOP 'Voting Rights' Group Delivers Onslaught of Disinfo Today!":

In a massive new attempt today to disinform the American Voting Public and sidetrack the true bi-partisan Election Reform movement in this country, the phony "voting rights" group --- calling themselves deceptively "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) --- issued a new report today charging that Democrats were "Far More Involved In Voter Intimidation And Suppression In 2004."

Five different heavily Democratic-leaning cities were cited in each of six different Press Releases issued at once via US Newswire within the last hour as being amongst the "top Election Fraud Hotspots" in the country.

The complete report, which we linked to at the time, is now found here via the Internet archives, since the ACVR website was taken down shortly after the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal began to expose the entire conspiracy. Here's what the "Letter of Introduction" for their propaganda report said at the time:

ACVR Legislative Fund has identified five cities as "hot spots" which require additional immediate attention. These cities were identified based on the findings of this report and the cities' documented history of fraud and intimidation. ACVR Legislative Fund will work with national and state political parties, state legislators and local officials to create a process that supports local election officials in these cities and ensures that any effort to continue the historic pattern of fraud and intimidation in the 2006 election is exposed and stopped.

1. Philadelphia, PA
2. Milwaukee, WI
3. Seattle, WA
4. St. Louis/East St. Louis, MO/IL
5. Cleveland, OH

Those cities and states, of course, have almost all come into play in the firings of the U.S. Attorneys. Point being that very little of the entire scheme is actually "new" --- it's just that the mainstream media (and even elements of the progressive blogosphere) are finally beginning to wake up to what we've been running around with our hair on fire for years trying to let them know about.

It's all been there all along. The only thing that was missing was the will to investigate and report on it. And it's still being under-investigated and under-reported today.

So, if we might take the liberty, allow us once again to point to the person who holds the key to much of all of this: one Mr. Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, the former national general counsel to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc., friend of Rove, and mastermind behind the ground game for national conspiracy as aided, abetted and orchestrated by the group he co-founded, the still-mysteriously funded ACVR.

Although some light was finally shone onto Hearne and the ACVR in a recent groundbreaking McClatchy report, he and his entire direct connection to the White House remain incredibly under-investigated, even while he and his ACVR co-conspirators have been trying to hide their tracks wherever possible of late. (E.g., Thor's online profile at his very powerful, corrupt Missouri legal firm, Lathrop & Gage --- also very much at the center of all of this, btw --- had described him as "General Counsel for the American Center of Voting Rights (ACVR)" as of April 27, 2007, as seen via the Internet archives. That reference to ACVR has now been quietly excised from Thor's current online profile.)

So again, all we can do is try to get the word out that MSM reporters and progressive bloggers looking into the US Attorney scandal may want to peruse our years of coverage on all of this, nicely indexed for their review at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.

On a related note, moving the ball one step forward...WaPo's piece also goes on to quote Dan Tokaji, election law specialist at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law, as saying: "There is reason for worry and suspicion at this point as to whether voting fraud played an inappropriate role in personnel decisions by the department."

"Reason for worry and suspicion?" With all due respect to Tokaji, we'd say it's gone far beyond that. We'd suggest "reason for indictments and jail time" would be more accurate.

But the question, however, which occurs to us at this point is: What is the next step? It's unclear where Congress plans to go with this investigation, as it's become clearer and clearer that the White House was directly behind the use of the DoJ as little more than a political bludgeon and an outreach arm of the RNC.

Do they plan to recommend indictments? If so, to whom? The DoJ? Will they ask for a Special Prosecutor to do same? Or will they exercise their Constitutional duty to impeach those Administration officials who have criminally violated their oaths to protect and defend that Constitution?

We don't pretend to know where all of this goes, and the endgame seems hazy right now to say the least, but we'd suggest it's time for Congressional investigators to start thinking and/or talking about it.

We hope to have a fresh Exclusive here tomorrow from Greg Palast, with some new details, which begin to look at exactly that. Stay tuned...

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Election Chief Arthur Anderson, Who Filed Complaint with Palm Beach Sheriff, Says Office Never Contacted Him After Closing Case Following Questionable FBI Intervention in Matter
Continues to Mull Decision on Whether to Further Pursue Charges in Light of Recent GOP 'Voter Fraud' Claims in the News...
By Brad Friedman on 5/14/2007 3:28pm PT  

The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections is dubious about the explanation by the apparent vote fraudster, Ann Coulter, that she used her realtor's address on her voter registration application for fear of stalkers, The BRAD BLOG has learned. Further, when the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office closed their investigation into the documented allegations in April, following an unusual call from an FBI agent, the election chief who had brought the complaint to the PBSO was never notified.

"The whole claim of stalkers was very strange to me," Dr. Arthur Anderson, Supervisor of Elections in Palm Beach, told us in a phone call today. He wondered why the claim hadn't come up before now.

"I found it to be rather ironic that no action was ever taken to conceal her location, her home address, etc., until now that this issue has come up," in relation to allegations that she committed a third-degree felony by knowingly using the wrong address on her registration form, and then voting at the wrong precinct as she did in 2006.

Anderson's comments echoed those of Thomas Jefferson School of Law professor Gregg P. Miller who told us yesterday that the "stalker" claim sound like "a load of bull." He told us via email that if Coulter "were trying to avoid a stalker, she would not have purchased her house in her own name," and added that she would have used "a trust or an LLC " to avoid exposure for her home address on public records.

On Friday, Palm Beach Post's Jose Lambiet reported that Anderson's requested investigation had been shut down --- failing to even interview Coulter --- after an agent from the FBI Academy's Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, VA, contacted the local detective working on the case to instruct her that Coulter's use of a phony address was somehow related to an investigation of his, in which no charges have ever been brought, concerning a "stalker."

Later that day, The BRAD BLOG revealed that the "Special Supervisory Agent" in question, Jim Fitzgerald, seems to have been an ex-boyfriend of Coulter's who may have intervened on her behalf on a number of occassions. His questionable involvement in Coulter's voter fraud case in Palm Beach has spurred an internal investigation, according to the Post.

Anderson also told us that, though the PBSO investigation which began at his request in January had been shut down on April 12, he has never been notified and still has not been sent a copy of their final report.

"Had it not been for someone from the press contacting me, I'd not have known about it," he told us. "I had not heard anything back from the detective that took the case, which is funny since I was told initially that I'd hear back within a few weeks, even for a progress report or something as things moved forward."

"I've still never heard back from them. So to hear they closed the case from someone else is very troubling," he said, adding that he was planning to send the PBSO a letter "to inquire about the reasons for that."

He confirmed comments given to AP on Friday, that, after going through three different law enforcement agencies, and with new election laws recently passed in Florida, it was difficult for him to pursue the case much further. He had previously suggested that his next stop would be the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement if PBSO declined to take on the case.

"Given the new election reform matters that we have to deal with, I'm not inclined to spend much more time on Ms. Coulter," he told us, though he added he was not previously aware of the "FBI boyfriend" angle we reported yesterday and that current issues in the news concerning GOP claims of "voter fraud" could change his thinking.

When we told him about the allegations that the FBI man had been a former lover of Coulter's, Anderson laughed and said, "that figures."...

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

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Palm Beach Paper Says FBI Agent Attempted to Clear GOP Pundit, BRAD BLOG Guest Blogger Said to be Reason for Fraudulent Info Given on FLVoter Registration Form, Driver's License!
Conservative Coulter Critic Borchers Responds; Says Her '98-'99 Boyfriend Has Been 'Her Personal FBI Resource for Her Own Purposes'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/11/2007 12:00pm PT  

The Ann Coulter Voter Fraud case, which we've been covering for more than a year (see our Special Coverage Page here, including her fraudulent Voter Registration Form, the complaint that started it all, and much more) has taken several bizarre twists this morning as Palm Beach Post columnist Jose Lambiet once again steps up with several fresh scoops in the matter, and The BRAD BLOG, who, as of today's article, has now become a corollary in the story, has an exclusive detail or two of our own to offer on the heels of this morning's Post report.

First, Lambiet reports that the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, which had been investigating the matter, has closed the case after an FBI agent interceded on Coulter's behalf. The PBSO had been investigating Coulter's fraudulent, knowing use of the wrong address on her voter registration form, a third-degree felony, and the fact that she subsequently, knowingly voted at the wrong precinct.

Second, the reason offered by the FBI man for Coulter's use of a phony address on her form --- actually that of her Palm Beach County real estate agent --- was because of claims that she was being "stalked" by a conservative BRAD BLOG guest blogger!

After the FBI intercession, as Lambiet reports, the PBSO investigator shut down the probe "without interviewing Coulter; a Realtor, whose Indian Road address Coulter used [on her fraudulent voter registration form]; or neighbors of Coulter's Seabreeze homestead."

The BRAD BLOG has previously shown that, in fact, Coulter had knowingly lied on her voter registration form, signing next to an "oath" swearing that "All information on this form is true" and that she understood "if it is not true, I can be convicted of a felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to five years."

Once the issue was reported originally by Lambiet, Coulter went about lying about it to the media and at public appearances, claiming she didn't even live in Florida, as Michelle Pilecki, who picked up on Lambiet's item today, had previously reported at Huffington Post. Nonetheless, property records and other evidence we've published at The BRAD BLOG, including an affidavit from Republican poll worker James Whited, show conclusively that Coulter lied on her voter registration form, and then knowingly committed voter fraud when she voted at the wrong precinct in 2006.

"We stand by our detective's work," a PBSO spokesman told Lambiet in today's report. "Based on the nature of the allegations, she did as much as she could."

But this gets a lot more bizarre, so keep reading...

* * *

The BRAD BLOG spoke this morning with the "stalker" in question, as named by Lambiet, longtime Coulter critic, and founder of Citizens for Principled Conservatism, Dan Borchers, who tells us that "Ann Coulter used a false allegation as a 'get out of jail free card'" on her voter fraud charges.

He also tells us something that Lambiet didn't mention in his report: The FBI man in question, Supervisory Special Agent Jim Fitzgerald, was Coulter's former boyfriend!

Lambiet, who spoke with Borchers for his piece, didn't report that allegation, but hinted that something wasn't adding up in Fitzgerald's intercession in the matter. He wonders why an FBI profiler from the FBI Academy's Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, VA, "who went after the Unabomber [would] take time from his busy day to even think about a municipal election snafu?"

Fitzgerald wouldn't reply to Lambiet, but he reports that after the Post contacted the bureau for comment on the matter, the FBI "immediately launched an internal review of the agent's involvement."

"We're looking into it," bureau spokeswoman Ann Todd said.

She declined to say whether Fitzgerald acted on his personal behalf or as an FBI agent or on someone else's orders.
...
County Supervisor of Elections Arthur Anderson, meanwhile, decried what he called "FBI intrusion."
...
"This doesn't bode well in terms of the public's impression that celebrities receive preferential treatment," Anderson said. "I'm curious about how anyone can justify the FBI's intrusion."

Anderson and Lambiet aren't the only ones dubious about the FBI's intervention on behalf of Coulter or the excuse that a "stalker" led her to use her realtor's address on her voter registration form....

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

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Asks 'Who Created Purge List and Why?'
Wexler NAILS the Issue During Gonzo Hearings Today in House Judiciary...
By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2007 6:19pm PT  

I spent most of the morning (and afternoon) watching the Gonzalez hearing in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. (The extra $5 per month to add C-SPAN3 to my cable tier has already been well worth it.)

All of those hours are perhaps best summed up by the nugget of today's hearing found in Rep. Robert Wexler's extremely to-the-point questions, along with a follow up by Rep. Stephen Cohen (some guy named Rep. Tom Feeney went between the two of them, but it was not particular interesting or newsworthy).

So to save you the time of having to watch all 9 hours, or however long it was, here are the 9 minutes or so of video from those two sections. First Wexler's must view clip, followed by Cohen:

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The crux of Wexler's very heated questions: If it wasn't anyone at DoJ, and it wasn't Bush or Cheney (as Gonzales said today) then who created the firing list?

Chairman Conyers is wondering exactly that, and his office sent us this statement, following today's hearing:

"After hours of testimony, the first and most basic question remains: who created the list of US Attorneys to be fired and why? As I said in the hearing, the bread crumbs are steadily leading toward 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

"We learned from the media today that Todd Graves was the ninth fired US Attorney, and Thomas Heffelfenger of Minnesota may have been the 10th. That begs the question that my colleague, Rep. Sánchez asked earlier, are there any others?

"My request for more information was met with an untenable response: 'I'll take that back.' To whom will Mr. Gonzales take that back to if he, in fact, is the Attorney General, the one in charge?"

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KC Star's Corporate Attorney is Lathrop & Gage of Thor Hearne/ACVR (and Much More) Fame
Failed to Make Disclosure When Re-Writing About Corrupt Firm's Corrupt Clients...
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2007 1:23pm PT  

If you've yet to notice, the latest daily must-read covering the very heart and soul of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal is Fired Up ! Missouri.

They have been reporting on the nub of the issue --- the resounding corruption and/or cover-ups emanating out of Thor Hearne's MO law firm Lathrop & Gage --- in a way that even the good folks at TPMMuckracker have yet to fully comprehend and/or adequately cover.

Anyway, Howard Beale at FU!MO (an interesting acronym, now that we write it) has a notable follow-up today to his Friday story on the KC Star having re-written the excellent McClatchy story on Missouri as "Ground Zero" for the GOP "Voter Fraud" fraud.

The KC Star, ironically enough, owned by McClatchy's parent company, had rewritten the piece to make it far more GOP/Missouri Politico-friendly as we subsequently covered here.

Beale today, has a suggestion as to why the Star may have gone out of their way to whitewash a previously brilliant piece of investigative reporting by McClatchy's Greg Gordon when they reran it (a day after McClatchy's other papers had done so): KC Star's corporate attorney is none other than Hearne's Lathrop & Gage, the very firm that is at the absolutely epi-center of this entire matter in many more ways than one, including representing a number of the subjects of Gordon's story, such as Hearne, Gov. Matt Blunt, etc.

All of which begs another important question which Beale forgot to ask in his coverage: Why did the Star fail to make that disclosure for readers when they reran even the whitewashed version of the McClatchy piece?

After bullet-pointing several of the L&G connections to all of these coming out of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, Beale concludes:

It has, in some ways, always been puzzling that the Star has been so far behind other news outlets in reporting on the DOJ/U.S. Attorney scheme despite its connection to the Kansas City area and the region's own U.S. Attorney. Makes you wonder about just what sort of counsel the paper's been keeping.

Indeed. But readers shouldn't have to "wonder". The paper ought to be disclosing it in every article --- if they still have any journalistic ethics left at the joint, in any case.

Go figure...

UPDATE: What is disclosed by the Star at the end of their re-written McClatchy hatchett job, btw, is this: "McClatchy Newspapers correspondent Margaret Talev, and The Star’s Steve Kraske and Mark Morris contributed to this report." McClatchy's Talev was listed as a contributor on the original version of the piece. As to the others, we don't yet know much about Morris personally, but Kraske's GOP leanings and Fox "News"-style tactics of "journalism" are well-dissected in this Sunday piece from Beale, covering Kraske's own whitewashing of the duplicitous, anti-democratic, politicization of the DoJ under the guise of the GOP's "Voter Fraud" canard as run at the Star over the weekend.

Why even one reporter would be needed to rewrite such a story is already worth questioning. Putting two on the case, especially in light of the grotesque rewrites, is certainly notable. Especially when one of them is Kraske.

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Abandoned Webspace of White House-Connected 'Voter Fraud' Group, 'American Center For Voting Rights', Purchased by DC Attorney; Handed Over to Non-Profit Which They Had Targeted for Years!
As More Allegations of DoJ Corruption in Missouri --- 'Ground Zero' for the ACVR Republican Fraudsters --- Continue to Reach Towards the Oval Office, Underscore Need for Congressional Investigation...
By Brad Friedman on 5/7/2007 2:32pm PT  

Chalk this one up as one for the good guys. The Internet real estate once owned by a group of deceptive White House-connected Republican operatives has now come under the control of one of the non-profit groups which had taken the brunt of the GOP outfits relentless anti-democratic political tactics.

The ironic turn of events comes on the heels of new revelations connecting the Republican operatives to high-level DoJ and White House officials, and underscores the need for an immediate Congressional investigation into the conspiracy behind the supposedly "non-partisan" GOP operation....

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

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Goofus and Gallant: A DOJ Human Resources Primer
By Brad Friedman on 5/6/2007 6:40pm PT  

Jesus' General has the rest...

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Yet Another Former DoJ Official Revealed to Have Nothing to Do with the U.S. Attorney Firings
RELATED? The Murder of Seattle Prosecutor Thomas Wales Was Barely Discussed in DOJ, Comey Testimony Suggests
By Margie Burns on 5/3/2007 1:47pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by DC Correspondent Margie Burns

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...

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

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National Mainstream Media FINALLY Picks up on, Exposes the 'Non-Partisan' 'American Center for Voting Rights' Fraud...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2007 3:12pm PT  

After more than two years of banging the drum here at The BRAD BLOG, it looks as if the national MSM have finally picked up on the fraud perpetrated by Missouri's White House operative Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and his high-level, democracy-hating GOP scammer pals in Missouri, at the Department of Justice, and in the White House.

In a McClatchy article just out today, reporter Greg Gordon correctly identifies Missouri as "Ground Zero" in the Republican attempt to establish phony claims of Democratic "voter fraud" in order to institute new restrictions at the polls as part of an insidious ploy to Democratic-leaning voters from being able to cast their vote.

Gordon reports on a number of issues out of Missouri that we've covered here over the years, including; the unsubstantiated claims of "voter registration fraud" against ACORN filed just prior to the '06 election in the Show-Me state; the unsuccessful lawsuit brought by the DoJ against MO SoS Robyn Carnahan alleging more voters on the rolls than actual eligible voters; and the unconstitutional Voter ID law as pushed through the MO legislature as drafted by the slime-ball Hearne.

As well, McClatchy finally outs the supposedly "non-partisan" American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), as created by Hearne and RNC Communications director, Jim Dyke. We began reporting on ACVR just three days after they went public on March 22, 2005 to testify before then-Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) House Administration Committee on Democratic attempts at "vote supression" during Ohio's 2004 Presidential Election.

Gordon finally exposes the ACVR in the mainstream media for what it actually was: Little more than a well-coordinated, (and still-mysteriously-funded) scam to produce public propaganda to support the GOP's insider push in swing states for voter suppression legislation and tactics by Republican officials.

Though the ACVR claimed tax-exempt 501(c)3 status from the beginning (despite their inability to show evidence of same), their "non-partisan" status was neatly embellished several months after they formed when they added "Democrat" Brian Lunde as their Executive Director. As Gordon writes...

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

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Powerful GOP Missouri Lawyer at Powerful GOP Missouri Law Firm Admits Bringing Powerful GOP Attorney William Mateja in to Manage DoJ Investigaton of Lathrop & Gage, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt
Firm Also Recently Hired Governor's Sister Amy... More is Still to Come...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2007 11:39am PT  

"[T]he aspens...turn in clusters, because their roots connect them."
-- I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby

A high-level GOP operative and master "voter fraud" snake-oil salesman, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne of Missouri, was in charge of hiring a high-level White House/DoJ operative to help put out the fire in an investigation by former U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins, according to a recent interview.

The investigation by Cummins, who was fired without cause shortly after the matter came to public attention, was said to have been looking into a multi-million dollar state fee-office scheme, carried out by Hearne's own Missouri law firm, Lathrop & Gage (L&G), and their client, Missouri's Gov. Matt Blunt.

Since revelations of the U.S. Attorney Purge, Cummins has publicly questioned what exactly it was that went on during "the Blunt deal."

The revelation of Hearne's hiring of the powerful White House/DoJ-connected operative, William B. Mateja, a Dallas-based attorney from a Texas/DC law firm, comes via admissions by Hearne in a report filed last week by Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Mannies's article followed on the heels of several related reports here at The BRAD BLOG in the days prior and included inquiries with Hearne about details in those reports.

In carefully parsed comments to Mannies, Hearne denies having "a discussion with anybody, in the White House or otherwise, about any U.S. attorneys being fired or resigning."

Mannies did not report on whether Hearne denied having conversations with "anybody in the White House or otherwise" about the investigation his firm and his client, the Governor, were said to be facing at the time.

The BRAD BLOG has also learned the Governor's sister, Amy Blunt, has been hired by Lathrop & Gage.

"Blunt said she came to Lathrop & Gage because of the firm's extensive focus on campaign and election law," according to the August 2006 press release announcing her arrival at L&G. She's also quoted in the release specifically mentioning that she was "particularly pleased to join Thor Hearne" at the firm.

These details all come in advance of more seemingly-related and contemporaneous WH/DoJ/L&G chicanery, which we are currently investigating and hope to be reporting on in the coming days.

Last week we filed detailed reports on what we see as a serious "underlying crime" and the specific, direct connection to the White House between the case in Missouri, the GOP's #1 "voter fraud" scam artist/operative Hearne, and the firing of Cummins. Cummins was the Arkansas U.S. Attorney assigned to the case after Todd Graves, the USA in Missouri's Western District, was forced to recuse himself due to family involvement in the fee-office scheme to the tune of millions of dollars. Graves's own involvement in the scandal, which Cummins was investigating, has been largely omitted in recent coverage by the Kansas City Star and others.

Graves eventually was allowed to save face by resigning his position shortly after he showed up on the now-infamous DoJ hit list of U.S. Attorneys to be fired; he was replaced by one of DoJ's top "voter fraud" zealots, Brad Schlozman. Cummins would be replaced by Karl Rove's right-hand Tim Griffin. Neither replacement had the prosecutorial experience for the job, even if they had the White House/GOP political hackery down cold.

Hearne was the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04, creator of the "non-partisan" GOP "voter fraud" front group American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR) --- a phony "grass roots" operation set up to create propaganda in order to lead to new, restrictive Voter ID laws at the polls --- and a very good, and powerful, friend of Karl Rove's and the Bush/Cheney White House....

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

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Conservative Bush Apologist Steals Spotlight with Jaw-Dropping Analysis: Politics Comes Before Duty for Political Appointees
By Alan Breslauer on 4/29/2007 9:52pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

On HBO's Real Time Friday night (click to play the video at left) Bill Maher was going over the basics of the US Attorney scandal with former New Mexico US Attorney David Iglesias when conservative guest Lisa Schiffren chimed in that Iglesias was failing to understand that US Attorney jobs were political. A surprised Maher tried to clarify by differentiating the appointment of US Attorneys from their actual law enforcement duties, but Schiffren stuck to her point. In addition to condoning the selective enforcement of the law, Schiffren implies that the oath to uphold the Constitution, taken by political appointees, was also secondary to politics. And she speaks from experience as a former political apppointee!

Clearly Schriffren just earned herself a jury duty pass for the rest of her life. To understand the outrageousness of her suggestion one need not look any further than the statement Iglesias made about his firing two minutes earlier:

Iglesias: What they wanted me to do was come up with some bogus prosecutions with no evidence of voter fraud. That's number one. And number two, they wanted me to rush indictments against democrats who were engaging in corrupt activities. I couldn't do that because the case wasn't ready. It's that simple.

Essentially the White House, along with Republican Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM) and Senator Pete Domenci (R-NM), who pressured Iglesias directly, were upset that Igesias refused to use the power of his office to help them fraudulently win elections. In other words, Iglesias was fired because he would not help the Republican party circumvent our Democracy. And that is okay according to Schiffren!

Schiffren: You know, with all due respect, it's a political, you're in a political job, you're a political appointee.

Maher: Woh, it's not a political job, it's a political appointment. Once you get the job, shouldn't it not be political?

Schiffren: You know what, I have been a political appointee also and sworn the same oath to the Constitution, and the truth is, you can't take politics out of politics, you were there to serve an administration that will have its own ends some of which are stupid, petty and trivial and sometimes the guy above you wants to put his guy in your slot...

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