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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, April 20, 2014
More Good 'Obamacare' News for Terrified Dems
Will Democrats continue to run scared, or will they embrace the unrelenting string of encouraging Affordable Care Act successes as we head into the 2014 mid-terms?...
'Green News Report' 4/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
Previous GNRs: 4/15/14 - 4/10/14 - Archives...
The Climate Is Invading the Earth! To Battle Stations!
If only the climate was a person that could be defeated with guns -- the world might finally take the threat that climate change now poses with the seriousness it deserves....
'Green News Report' 4/15/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
Previous GNRs: 4/10/14 - 4/8/14 - Archives...
'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
PowerLine's hyper-partisan John Hinderaker admits Cliven Bundy 'doesn't have a [legal] leg to stand on', but digs deep to find a reason - any reason - to defend the scofflaw anyway...
Sunday News Shows Fail to Mention U.S. Senate CIA Torture & Detention Report
Despite U.S. and international crimes outlined in the findings, based on first-hand CIA docs, not a single Sunday show even brought it up...
NSA Knew About, Exploited Internet Open Source Bug for Years
What part of "national security' does the National Security Agency not understand?!...
Destroying America: 'Obamacare' Kills Another Business
Free medical clinic in rural Arkansas to close doors after health insurance reform law leads to lack of customers...
'Green News Report' 4/10/14
RW Heartland Institute says 'climate change will be good for you!'; Russia threatens natural gas supplies to Ukraine, Europe; PLUS: Attack of the Tumbleweeds! (No, really!)...
'Green News Report' 4/8/14
Study: CNN, Fox 'News' FAIL on climate; CNN looks for plane, finds ocean of garbage; PLUS: Energy co. receives record fine for 85 years of toxic waste (& couldn't be happier about it)...
Christie's E-Cig 'Sin Tax' Due to 'Public Health' Concerns?
After slashing anti-smoking programs, 'conservative' Christie admin offers absurd reason for massive new tax, but NJ Star-Ledger ain't buyin' it. And neither are we...
Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
Courts rules TX legislators must provide email related to passage of polling place Photo ID restrictions which may prove discriminatory intent of the GOP law...
'A New Kind of Liberty' for the Kochs and Anyone Else Who Can Afford to Buy It
Have the rightwing judicial activists on the Supreme Court made you feel freer yet?...
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...


Falls for Ridiculous '9/11 Mastermind' Story With Screaming Front Page Headline, Buries U.S. Attorney Purge Scandal...
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2007 10:30pm PT  

We can't imagine why anybody would want to continue giving money to the Los Angeles Times.

After the better part of the last year or two, since being purchased by the Rightwing Chicago Tribune, the paper has been gutted. It's become little more than the Fox "News" Channel on newsprint. While that may be an exaggeration, it's not much of one. We were reminded again of that tonight when we finally took a few minutes' break from sifting through the avalanche of actual news as available on the Internets, to get a quick look at today's carbon-based LA Times front page.

Yesterday, as the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal was hitting its most fevered pitch to date, with Gonzales, Rove, et al. being thoroughally sucked into the vortex with all manners of leaked e-mail, documents, statements, calls for resignation, and more flying out...Josh Marshall at TPM filed this hysterical squib:

BREAKING! 9/11 Mastermind who confessed to being mastermind after being captured like five years ago confesses again at Gitmo hearing and now the transcript is released by the Pentagon to get Gonzales off the front pages!

BREAKING!

And then what do you suppose we find on the front page of today's LA Times...

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

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An Insider's Report from a New Mexico Election Attorney on the Firing of David Iglesias and the Rove/DoJ/Republican Efforts to Create a 2004 'Voter Fraud' Scare in the State...
RELATED? - The GOP 'Voter Fraud' Front Group ACVR Goes Suddenly AWOL!
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2007 2:56pm PT  

As you might expect, there is much more to the "voter fraud" angle in the U.S. Attorneys Purge scandal than initially meets the eye. As you might also expect, we've taken keen notice as we've long been following and reporting on the insidious machinations behind the GOP/White House/Rove scheme to (rather successfully) invent the cynical notion of a "voter fraud" epidemic in America for purely political purposes.

First... Allow me to set the stage for the unenlightened by referring you to an amazingly wonderful new report [PDF] on the manufactured myth of American "voter fraud" as released by ProjectVote.org and authored by Lorraine C. Minnite, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University.

Among the report's key findings [PDF]:

  • Voter fraud is extremely rare.
  • Most voter fraud allegations turn out to be something other than fraud.
  • There is a long history in America of elites using voter fraud allegations to restrict and shape the electorate.
  • The historically disenfranchised are often the target of voter fraud allegations.

Finally, an academician thoroughly debunks --- nay, eviscerates --- the long-worked, well-moneyed, and invidious GOP plot to create the illusion of an American "voter fraud" epidemic (as distinct from very real election fraud concerns). The point behind the effort is solely to push for disenfranchising laws and restrictions in an effort to keep legitimate voters away from the polls in our democracy. If you read only one page of this report, "The Politics of Voter Fraud," it will be well worth your time!

Second... The phony "non-partisan" GOP front-group calling themselves the "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR), created in 2005 for nothing more than to facilitate the White House/Karl Rove "voter fraud" schemes, seems to have suddenly gone missing! BRAD BLOG readers will recall the despicable operatives who set up their "tax-exempt," "voter fraud" chop shop just three days before testifying at a staged Congressional hearing on the 2004 Ohio Presidential Election before the now-disgraced, felonious former Ohio Rep. Bob Ney of the House Administrative Committee. We broke the story exclusively at the time, and have continued reporting on it in a long series of special coverage reports ever since.

The alleged 501(c)3 group --- which has never produced paperwork to back up its tax-exempt status, to our knowledge --- was founded by the "non-partisan," "former" Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. national general counsel, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, along with "non-partisan" RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke. Dyke now works for non-partisan Dick Cheney's office. Hearne then, and apparently still now, seems to be working for Karl Rove as one of his top national operatives.

Since news coverage of the tip of the iceberg in the GOP "voter fraud" scam has been revealed as directly related to the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, it seems that all of a sudden the ACVR's detailed and propaganda-filled website has suddenly disappeared down the memory hole. As of today, both of ACVR's domain names AC4VR.com and AmericanCenterForVotingRights.com each return "Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)" errors.

Gone, but not forgotten. As we find out more on the AWOL ACVR we will, of course, let you know.

Lastly... Though certainly not leastly, John Boyd, an Albuquerque, New Mexico, based elections attorney who worked with the Democratic party in the state during the 2004 election, sends us the following inside account of the scandal surrounding recent reports that purged NM U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was removed for his unwillingness to prosecute claims of "voter fraud" in the state prior to the 2004 Presidential Election.

Before the election, Boyd helped represent the Dems in defending against the scurrilous GOP "voter fraud fraud," as he calls it. After the election, he successfully filed suit, along with the watchdog organization VoterAction.org, against the state concerning failures in their DRE/touch-screen voting system. That suit eventually led to a statewide ban on such systems and a requirement for paper-based elections.

Boyd writes that the firing scandal is actually "far worse than it now appears." His harrowing, first-hand account and reasons for that claim, as sent to us this morning, details how the GOP manufactured their pre-election "voter fraud" crisis in the state, despite lacking any evidence of any actual crimes.

His first-hand description of the events follows in full...

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

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'Gagged-Ordered' FBI Whistleblower Calls on BRAD BLOG Readers to 'Demand, Beg and Implore' Congressional Dems to Announce Public Hearings
'State Secrets Act' Still Used by DoJ to Prevent the Fired Translator from Testifying on 9/11, Corruption by Hastert, Perle, Feith...
By Luke Ryland on 3/14/2007 9:19am PT  

Guest Blogged by Luke Ryland

Last week, more than thirty 'good government' groups including the ACLU, POGO, CREW, Liberty Coalition, and September 11th Advocates called on Henry Waxman's Committee "to hold public hearings into the case of FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, and the erroneous use of the State Secrets Privilege to shut down all court proceedings in her case."

Sibel Edmonds says: "Thanks to Brad and Bradblog readers. Exactly twelve months ago, Bradblog helped launch this petition and we had a great response. Fifteen thousand people signed the petition and we have delivered it to Congress. Now we'd like to ask for your help again."

We've had solid indications that Waxman is ready and willing to hold public, open hearings into Sibel's case. We need to give Waxman a final push and get him to commit to a date, in May or June, and that's where you come in. We want you to call the offices of Congressmen Henry Waxman, John Conyers, Patrick Leahy, and Charles Grassley and demand, beg, and implore them to publicly announce that they will have hearings.

Sibel has already told her story in classified briefings to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, Henry Waxman's staff, and the 911 Commission, and her case has been investigated by the Department of Justice Inspector General. All of them have verified Sibel's claims. As Republican Senator Charles Grassley said (YouTube) on 60 Minutes in 2002: "Absolutely, she's credible. And the reason I feel she's very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story." ...

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

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'The DoJ Looks Like a Mob of Self-Interested, Self-Protecting Thugs,' Opines the Court TV Anchor, Former Texas Judge...
By Brad Friedman on 3/13/2007 2:45pm PT  

The good Catherine Crier of Court TV's Catherine Crier LIVE let's loose tonight on a number of the now nearly too-numerous-to-count Bush Administration scandals/failures.

Crier, a former Texas judge, who in a previous "Crier Wire" commentary last year filed perhaps the all-time best televised editorials on the insane dangers of e-voting, unleashes tonight on everything from the U.S. Attorney firing scandals, to the Libby case, to Halliburton's recent announcement that they're ditching America in favor of their real friends, the Arab nation of Dubai.

In tonight's piece which begins "something stinks in Washington D.C.", the Fox "News" escapee and former Dallas County district judge opines: "the more we dig, the more the Department [of Justice] looks like a mob of self interested, self protecting thugs."

The producers of the show were kind enough to rush us a transcript (blame them for the ALL CAPS), which we've posted in full at the end of this item. We'll try to post a video of the commentary as an update here later if we're able to trap it.

Here are a few snippets to whet your appetite:

THE U.S. JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS CHARGED WITH PROTECTING YOU AND ME AND THE U.S. CONSTITUTION FROM ALL ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC. NOTICE THE WORD "JUSTICE" IN THE TITLE. NOW, THE MORE WE DIG, THE MORE THE DEPARTMENT LOOKS LIKE A MOB OF SELF INTERESTED, SELF PROTECTING THUGS.

On the America-hating Halliburton:

HALLIBURTON. YOU KNOW, THE COMPANY, THAT WAS AWARDED A TWO-POINT-FOUR BILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT ON THE EVE OF THE IRAQ INVASION? THE COMPANY THAT AGREED TO SETTLE AN EIGHT-MILLION DOLLAR FRAUD CLAIM FOR OVERCHARGING THE U.S GOVERNMENT? THEY'RE MOVING... YUPTHEY'RE MOVING THEIR CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS FROM HOUSTON TEXAS TO DUBAI IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. CAN YOU SAY TAX BREAK? IS IT ANY SUPRISE THAT THIS COMPANY, SO DEPENDENT ON BILLIONS OF OUR TAX DOLLARS WOULD SEEK SAFE HAVEN IN ANOTHER COUNTRY? SAFE FROM TAXES, SAFE FROM U.S. LAWS, SAFE FROM OVERSIGHT AND SAFE TO DO BUSINESS WITH IRAN...ONE OF HALLIBURTON'S VALUED CUSTOMERS. THEY MAY BE MOVING HALF-WAY AROUND THE WORLD BUT I CAN SMELL THEM FROM HERE...

And, as a woman after our heart, she points out what we're forced to point out far too frequently: These are not issues of "Right and Left" but rather "Right and Wrong." That, even as both bad guys and the guys who ought to know better continue to incorrectly characterize the reporting of such issues --- and indeed this blog --- as "partisan". What a ridiculous world. About which Crier concludes:

THESE ARE NOT CONSERVATIVE OR LIBERAL ISSUES - THIS IS ABOUT RIGHT AND WRONG. IN A BETTER WORLD, U.S. ATTORNEYS ARE FREE TO PURSUE INJUSTICE AND NOT ONE PARTY OR THE OTHER. IN A BETTER WORLD, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FAITHFULLY DEFENDS THE CONSTITUTION AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE - SO DOES THE PRESIDENT. IN A BETTER WORLD COMPANIES THAT RELY ON TAX DOLLARS DON'T MOVE TO ARAB COUNTRIES... IN A BETTER WORLD - AMERICA WOULDN'T HAVE SUCH A STINK AS IT HAS RIGHT NOW....

The transcript from Crier's complete special "Crier Wire" commentary follows in full...

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

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(All the While Ignoring the Actual DOCUMENTED Voter Fraud Felonies of Their Hero, Ann Coulter...)
By Brad Friedman on 3/13/2007 12:31pm PT  

It's been amusing --- if exasperating --- to watch the latest like-clockwork contortions of the wingnuts in their desperate, if predictable, attempt to spin the U.S. Attorney firing scandal into a "voter fraud" scandal. That, they tell us in lock-step is the "real scandal" that the "liberal media" is conveniently overlooking in their attempts to victimize poor poor George W. Bush.

As we previously noted, we are unaware of any actual "voter fraud" alleged in the New Mexico case, but rather voter registration fraud. And even those allegations seems to have little, if any, substance behind them.

All the while, the dead-end wingnutters happily ignore the fact that their own continuing attempts to forward the myth of a "voter fraud" epidemic (and a Democratic-based one at that) have failed time and again. The most recent attempt was a report on "voter fraud" as officially sanctioned by the partisan-comprised U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). Despite desperate attempts to show such an epidemic, the study came up embarrassingly empty handed on the issue and so the EAC subsequently refused to release their final report.

(NOTE: EAC Chairwoman Donetta Davidson promised to turn over the spiked report last week to Congress during a hearing in which was called to testify. We'll keep our eye out for that report, as we are still waiting for Davidson to send us another report which they promised to us nearly two weeks ago on a related story we've been working on.)

The Bush Apologist Bloggers also happily ignore one of the only clear and actually documented cases of voter fraud: That which was actually committed by rightwing sycophant/hate-monger, Ann Coulter in Florida.

Nonetheless, in the wingnuts blogosphere's continuing quest to remain in utter denial of Reality, they're reaching for a new set of straws. Here's a few chuckle-worthy examples...

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

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State Party Chair Admits Bush's Right-Hand Man Claimed 'He's Gone' After Demands to Fire David Iglesias
New York Times Calls for Gonzalez's Head, but The BRAD BLOG Calls for Bush's...
By Brad Friedman on 3/11/2007 12:45pm PT  

A report from McLatchy Newspapers Saturday night has busted the thing wide open, placing Rove and the White House smack dab in the center of the scandal in which 8 U.S. Attorneys from the Dept. of Justice were canned. As if they weren't already.

While both the now-disgraced Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) have already admitted their own inappropriate intervention in the matter, the state's Republican Party Chair, Allen Weh, has now gone on record directly implicating Karl Rove.

Further, we learn that one of the points the NM Republicans were upset about was Iglesias's failure to move fast enough on a "voter fraud" investigation. However, the McClatchy report indicates (as usual) that it wasn't actually a "voter fraud" investigation, but rather a "voter registration fraud" investigation in question.

We'll add here, for those who hadn't noticed, Wilson was named the winner over her Democratic opponent Patricia Madrid last November by fewer than 800 votes. Since New Mexico's new automatic recount law didn't kick in until the first of this year, there was no recount. That, despite our own discussions with Madrid after the election and our encouragement that she ask for a recount on her own.

(We'll hope, at least, that she kept her "Madrid for Congress" signs around, since depending on how things shake out down here there could be a Special Election in the not-too-distant future as more details of both Wilson and Domenici's inappropriate pressure as applied to Iglesias continue to come out.)

Between last night's report placing Rove at the center of the controversy, and a follow-up later in the evening from AP, it appears, according to Talking Points Memo (who has been all over this story), that someone --- oh, let's say Rove, just for the fun of it --- "may have gotten to Weh." In AP's later coverage, Weh appears to be attempting to mitigate his original account of the Rove incident, suggesting it happened after the attorneys had already been canned.

At the same time, New York Times has now gone on record calling for the termination of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in the wake of this particular mess, and several other failures including his gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The key details from each of the various relevant stories follow, as well as our recommendation about who really needs to be fired at this point...

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

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CONYERS: 'It is time to rein in this President and his Administration'
SÁNCHEZ: 'DoJ acted behind closed doors to intimidate appointees...Had no effective oversight during previous majority'
By Brad Friedman on 3/6/2007 5:15pm PT  

Sent to The BRAD BLOG by the House Judiciary Democrats concerning this morning's oversight hearings on the U.S. Attorney firings (full statement posted at end of this article):

"Our country decided after the Watergate scandal that ideological partisanship has no place in our system of justice," said Chairwoman Sánchez. "Unfortunately, the firings of these attorneys indicate that the Bush Administration has once again acted in the interest of its political party instead of the good of the nation."
...
"Today's testimony signals that it is time to rein in this President and his Administration before they do any further damage to our democracy," said Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers. "Today, we received strong evidence that the firing of these U.S. Attorneys was politically motivated, and we clearly need to follow up on these developments with further investigations."
...
David Iglesias, former U.S. Attorney from New Mexico, testified that U.S. Senator Pete Domenici and U.S. Representative Heather Wilson called him in the days before the close 2006 elections to discuss issuing an indictment against a local Democratic official. Mr. Iglesias said that after Senator Domenici abruptly hung up the phone, "I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Six weeks later I got the call that I had to move on."

H.E. "Bud" Cummins III, a former U.S. Attorney from Arkansas, testified that Michael Elston, Chief of Staff to Deputy U.S. Attorney General Paul McNulty, called him with a warning that any of the fired prosecutors who publicly discussed their cases would be targeted by negative information campaigns.
...
"The Department of Justice, which had no effective oversight during the previous majority, has been acting behind closed doors to empower political cronies and intimidate its own appointees," said Chairwoman Sánchez. "This thuggish behavior is beneath our democracy and underscores the importance of Congressional oversight, a function that Chairman Conyers and I are committed to continue."

In regard to the alleged threats of retaliation against the attorneys for speaking out on this, an email from Cummins, published by Sacramento Bee, gives contemporaneous specifics. According to SacBee...

Former U.S. attorney Bud Cummins, who resigned in December and was replaced by Karl Rove assistant Timothy Griffin, sent this Feb. 20 e-mail to five other fired U.S. attorneys after receiving a phone call from the Justice Department following comments he made to The Washington Post for an article published Feb. 18.

Of course, Gonzales today said none of it ever happened, these aren't the droids you're looking for.

The complete statement issued by the Judiciary Committee Democrats follows below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 3/5/2007 5:36pm PT  

Out this morning from the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition...

Two FBI Whistleblowers Confirm Illegal Wiretapping of Government Officials and Misuse of FISA

State Secrets Privilege Was Used to Cover Up Corruption and Silence Whistleblowers
...
William Weaver, NSWBC Senior Advisor: "These abuses of power are precisely why we must pay attention to whistleblowers. Preservation of the balance of powers between the branches of government increasingly relies on information provided by whistleblowers, especially in the face of aggressive and expanding executive power. Through illegal surveillance members of Congress and other officials may be controlled by the executive branch, thereby dissolving the matrix of our democracy."

Details, including new information in the case of gag-ordered FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, and her attempt to tell her story posted by RAW STORY right here...

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First Subpoenas Issued by Dems Since Taking Control of Congress...
By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2007 3:51pm PT  

As The BRAD BLOG reported yesterday would happen today, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Administrative Law has today voted to issue subpoenas in the matter of the forced firing of U.S. Attorneys at the Dept. of Justice after pressure from higher-ups.

According to a statement just received by The BRAD BLOG (full statement posted below), the subcommittee voted to issue subpoenas requiring former U.S. Attorneys David C. Iglesias, Carol Lam, H.E. Cummins, III, and John McKay to appear at a hearing next Tuesday.

"The former U.S. Attorneys are alleging very serious charges against the Administration and we need to hear from them," Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) says in his statement. "We want to hear their stories and we want the Administration to address the charges head on so that we can get to the bottom of this."

The subpoenas, issued as a "last resort" according to subcommittee Chairwoman, Linda Sánchez (D-CA), are the first to be issued by the Democrats since taking control of Congress.

We must run, so we'll refer you to the full statement below for more details for the moment...

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

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'Subpoenas will be Issued,' Says House Judiciary Aide in Advance of Tomorrow's Vote, Next Week's Hearings
ALSO: House Judiciary Committee Will Hold Hearings Next Wednesday on 'Election Reform and Irregularities'
By Brad Friedman on 2/28/2007 4:48pm PT  

Two media statements released from members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee indicate that subpoenas will soon be issued in the matter of the allegedly coerced firings of U.S. Attorneys in the Department of Justice. A vote will take place tomorrow in the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law on whether to issue the subpoenas to Justice Dept. officials Carol Lam, David Iglesias, H.E. Cummins, III, and John McKay to compel them to appear before a subcommittee hearing next week.

As well, The BRAD BLOG has learned the Judiciary Committee will also hold hearings next week on matters related to "Election Reform and Irregularities."

According to a Committee staffer, "subpoenas will be issued" tomorrow in the U.S. Attorney matter. If so, it would be the first time the Democrats have exercised their newly-gained subpoena power since wresting control of Congress from Republicans...

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

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Dan Eggen Continues His Series of Reports on Adminstration Political Appointees Overruling the Opinions of Career Voting Rights Attorneys...
By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2006 1:01am PT  

Last month, we reported how the George W. Bush administration has effectively gutted the beloved, 40-year old Voting Rights Act. He has done so by allowing political appointees in the Department of Justice to override the recommendations of career attorneys in the Voting Rights division who had recommended against the Georgia Photo ID Requirement Law and Tom Delay's Texas Congressional Redistricting Scheme.

In both cases, the career attorneys at DoJ had written lengthy memos opposing the new laws --- 4 out of 5 of them in the GA case, 8 out of 8 in the TX case --- only to be overruled by Bush's political cronies. Dan Eggen of The Washington Post broke both of those stories, with some exemplary reporting, after obtaining the leaked memos.

Later, the DoJ mandated that no such written opinions would be allowed in the future.

Eggen, on Page A1 of Monday's WaPo, now has more on the fallout and allegations of politics being played with the VRA within DoJ, as Bush continues to dismantle as many American Values as he can before leaving office...Here's some highlights (or lowlights, as the case may be)...

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

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Assistant A.G. Refused to Renew NSA Program in 2004
By David Edwards on 1/1/2006 5:30pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

The New York Times reports that in 2004 Deputy Attorney General James Comey refused to sign off on renewal of Bush's warrantless NSA spying program. Instead of addressing Comey's concerns, Bush Administration officials took the desperate move of actually visiting Attorney General Ashcroft in the hospital to get his authorization for renewal of the program. Ashcroft was, at the time, in intensive care recovering from pancreatitis.

Comey refused to approve renewal of the program based on concerns over "whether the president had the legal and constitutional authority to conduct such an operation."

In light of these new revelations, Senator Charles Schumer, appearing on Fox News Sunday, demanded that Bush Administration officials testify before congress.

Mitch McConnel, who appeared along with Schumer, chastised The Times for continuing to report on details of the wiretap program. While Schumer said that any investigation should consider a possible whistle-blower status for anyone who leaked this information, Senator McConnel was more interested in punishing the whistleblower.

Because the NSA shared the wiretap information with many federal agencies, it will be very difficult to assign blame to a specific leaker.


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

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DoJ Staff Attorneys Now Barred From Offering Opinions in VRA Cases After WaPo Exposed Political Appointees Overruled Civil Rights Division Staffers
By Brad Friedman on 12/10/2005 1:15pm PT  

The beloved 40 year-old Voting Right Acts, implemented by Lyndon B. Johnson after violence and death to Voting Rights activists in Selma, Alabama in 1965 has been all but gutted by the George W. Bush administration. The VRA celebrated it's 40th anniversary this summer, even as Bush's Department of Justice was destroying one of its most important measures by covert political caveat.

That gutting now appears to be becoming a still greater threat to our democracy as it is being institutionalized by recent policy changes which bar career Voting Rights staffers and attorneys in the DoJ from offering opinions on new laws that fall under the jurisdication of the VRA.

Two recent reports by Dan Eggen of the Washington Post revealed that Bush political appointees in the DoJ has overruled the recommendations of career staffers and attorneys in the Voting Rights division tasked with determining the legality of two separate laws sent to the department for "pre-approval" under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Section 5 requires that states with a history of discriminatory election practices --- like Texas and Georgia --- must receive pre-approval from the DoJ before implementing any changes to their voting systems. It prohibits "retrogressive" changes to voting laws, or laws that would bring harm to minority voters.

In the last several weeks Eggen has reported on remarkable memos leaked by DoJ staffers showing that they had recommended against approval of new laws both in Georgia, where the legislature had insituted a new Photo ID requirement at the polls, and in Texas, where then Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) had helped to redistrict the state to allow for more Republican representatives after the GOP gained control of the state house in 2002.

Georgia's law has since been ruled unconstitutional by two Federal Courts who deemed the law to be a "Jim Crow-era Poll Tax". Texas' law has resulted in 7 additional Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. The fallout from the DeLay led gerrymander of Texas districts has resulted in several indictments for DeLay and his cronies who helped force it through the legislature and allegedly conspired with the Republican National Committee to launder money in support of GOP candidates running for the new seats. The Texas law, which had been unanimously recommended against by 8 DoJ staffers, including the lead attorney in the Voting Rights Act division, still stands.

Today Eggen reports that such staff opinions are now completely banned in Bush's Department of "Justice"!

The Justice Department has barred staff attorneys from offering recommendations in major Voting Rights Act cases, marking a significant change in the procedures meant to insulate such decisions from politics, congressional aides and current and former employees familiar with the issue said.

Disclosure of the change comes amid growing public criticism of Justice Department decisions to approve Republican-engineered plans in Texas and Georgia that were found to hurt minority voters by career staff attorneys who analyzed the plans. Political appointees overruled staff findings in both cases.

The one ray of hope that Eggen offers is that Sen. Arlen Spector (R-PA) is considering Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings...at least on the Texas redistricting case.

We often bristle when we hear those on the Left criticize the Bush Administration as Fascistic. It's simply too easy to ascribe to them the worst possible traits as a blunt political weapon. But if the issues discussed above don't send a shiver down the spine of every democracy-loving American it's either because they don't understand what's actually at stake --- and being dismantled in the process --- or they simply don't give a damn about this country's most important legacy to the world: A free and fair electoral system where all citizens are given an equal voice in the selection of our leaders...or at least a system as close to that as we can possibly muster.

Our Republic is in grave danger.

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Measure Approved by Attorney General Even After 4 of 5 Staffers Wrote 51-Page Memo Advising Against Law
(Election-Related News Actually Makes WaPo's Front Page!)
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2005 1:57pm PT  

A page one story in today's Washington Post reports that a 51-page memo obtained by the paper, shows Dept. of Justice staffers had rejected a controversial new Photo ID requirement law for voters in Georgia, but that their recommendations were overruled and the measure was approved anyway by the Bush appointed Attorney General.

Georgia's new law was recently rejected as unconstitutional by two Federal Courts who equated it to a "Jim Crow-era poll tax" after its approval by the DoJ despite the recommendation against it by 4 out of 5 staffers in the DoJ's Voting Rights Act division.

The law would have required all voters to present a Photo ID at the poll, available for $20 to those who did not have one. The measure, which, like all such measures currently being pushed around the country by Republicans, is alleged to be disproportionately disenfranchising to minority (read: Democratic-leaning) voters.

Despite a complete dearth of evidence to demonstrate that Photo ID requirements are useful in combatting the non-existent epidemic of "Voter Fraud" in America, Republican legislators in Georgia and other states are attempting to ramrod such measures through their state legislatures. Even the creators of the Georgia law were unable to cite a single example of fraud in the state which would have been held off by the new legislation.

Indeed, the self-described "non-partisan" GOP front-group calling itself the American Center for Voting Rights has been fervently attempting to perpetrate the hoax of a "Voter Fraud" epidemic on voters for at least the past six months. They've made the cause their number one plan in attempting to further disenfranchise millions of minority, elderly, poor and urban-dwelling voters, all of whom are far more likely to vote Democratic and not own drivers licenses.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965, parts of which are up for renewal by this Justice Department in 2007, requires states such as Georgia to have any such new laws that may effect voters to be "pre-cleared" by the DoJ.

According to WaPo...

State Rep. Tyrone L. Brooks Sr., a Democrat and president of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, said he was not surprised by the Justice Department's position in the case.

"Some of my colleagues told me early on that, because of politics in the Bush administration, no matter what the staff recommendation was, this would be approved by the attorney general," Brooks said. "It's disappointing that the staff recommendation was not accepted, because that has been the norm since 1965."

UPDATE 12/2/05: Bush DoJ does it again! This time with a unanimous decision against Tom DeLay's Texas redistricting! Turns out that too was overruled by his DoJ cronies!

UPDATE 12/10/05: Now the DoJ has barred staffers from offering opinions at all! Democracy crumbles...

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR 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.
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By Winter Patriot on 7/9/2005 9:41am PT  

Guest blogged by Bob Fitrakis

INTRODUCTION {by Winter Patriot}: On behalf of the BradBlog and the Blogathon I am pleased and proud to introduce Dr. Robert J. Fitrakis. According to his biography at freepress.org, Dr. Fitrakis is a professor of political science and a lawyer. He served as an international election observer in the 1994 presidential elections in El Salvador and as a dual-Ward legal advisor for the Election Protection Coalition during the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election. Dr. Fitrakis is also co-editor, with Steve Rosenfeld and Harvey Wasserman, of DID GEORGE W. BUSH STEAL AMERICA'S 2004 ELECTION? This essential volume is currently available from freepress.org, as well as through The BRAD STORE.

It's great to have Dr. Fitrakis here with us. And I think we can even call him "Bob".

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

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