(Hat-tip BRAD BLOG comic sherpa, Pokey Anderson)
w/ Brad & Desi
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...|
(Hat-tip BRAD BLOG comic sherpa, Pokey Anderson)
By Brad Friedman from Phoenix, AZ...
With more than 3,000 counties in the United States of America, only heavily Republican Warren County, Ohio --- one of the last to report election results in the Buckeye State that night --- took action on Election Night 2004 to lock out members of the public and the media from their tabulation room.
The president of the county's Board of Commissioners claimed at the time that during a "face-to-face meeting between the FBI and our director of emergency services we were informed that on a scale from one to 10...Warren County in particular was rated at 10, 10 being the top highest risk."
Nobody, however, in Warren County has ever named the supposed FBI official who gave the warning, and to this day, the director of the county's Department of Emergency Services, Frank R. Young, will not reveal the name of the official with whom he claims he spoke, even as the FBI maintains "there was no information given to Warren County of an imminent terrorist threat to that county or to Southern Ohio," and that "None of our agents...advised of any type of any terrorist threat or anything like that."
Additionally, no one has ever been held accountable for what happened.
During The BRAD BLOG's exclusive interview last December with Ohio's new Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, she was asked about the infamous Warren County Lockdown and encouraged to investigate the matter to ensure something similar would not be allowed to occur during the 2008 election. She noted that she was still "troubled" by the '04 incident and "[couldn't] find any justification for it."
"We'll look again at that situation and see what the best course of action is to prevent it from happening in the future," she promised at the time.
The Cincinnati Enquirer picked up on that section of our interview at the time, and now, going on four years since the Lockdown occurred --- first reported by The BRAD BLOG on November 8, 2004 --- a mainstream corporate media outlet has finally taken the issue seriously enough to devote some resources to a legitimate investigation.
Jon Craig's investigative report in Sunday's Cincinnati Enquirer notes: "Among those locked out were an Enquirer reporter, a TV reporter, and a stringer from the Associated Press." He goes on to report that "(t)he AP had stringers at all 88 boards of elections, and only in Warren County were they not allowed in."
Despite a misleading summary early in Craig's article, asserting the paper has "learned...A casual conversation about terrorism between the county emergency services director and a friendly FBI agent in a parking lot may have been the final trigger for the lockdown," what's clear is that to this day, no one from the FBI has ever come forward to substantiate Young's claims. Even today, while Young is taking responsibility for recommending the lockdown, he's sticking to his story that it was his conversation with an FBI official --- whom he still refuses to name --- that led him to his decision.
Both the FBI and the Warren County Sheriff tell Craig that Young's claims, essentially, are complete bullshit...
Guest Blogged by Howard Beale of Fired Up! Missouri...
Thor Hearne and his phony White House/GOP "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR) front group may be officially disbanded, but that simply means their still mysteriously-funded, tax-exempt scam to push for disenfranchising Photo ID restrictions at polling places around the country continues beneath the radar and by occasionally different names. Same anti-democracy thugs. Same money. A few less discredited (so far) names.
One of those names was front and center yesterday during a hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday, as the huckster Hearne could be heard faintly in the distance, still pulling the strings.
When the U.S. Senate's Committee on Rules and Administration held a hearing yesterday to discuss whether Photo ID Voting Laws lead to disenfranchisement, University of Missouri academic Jeffrey Milyo was among those who were present to give testimony.
The primary reason for Milyo's inclusion in the panel was his recent publication of a study purporting to show that restrictive photo ID voting laws had no adverse effect on voter turnout in 2006 elections in Indiana. Never mind that voter turnout is not necessarily indicative of whether or not voters were disenfranchised by such laws or not. More to the point, for the moment, while Milyo's testimony poured forth easily for the committee when he was talking about his contention that Photo ID laws do not disenfranchise voters, he became less erudite when the simple question arose of how his research had been funded.
There was good reason for his sudden hemming and hawing...
Blogged by Brad Friedman from Phoenix, AZ...
For all the Bush Administration and Republican Party's phony sturm and drang about a supposed epidemic of "voter fraud" at the polling place, the DoJ refused to offer a representative to testify at a Senate hearing today on the topic.
According to a statement from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who chaired the hearing this morning in the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, the DoJ refused to allow testimony from the William Welch, Chief of the Public Integrity Section, which has "responsibility for civil and criminal enforcement of such voter fraud to discuss what the Department has found and to help quantify the problem of voter fraud at the polls."
"Only after extensive back and forth between my staff and the Department," Feinstein says, "did they finally send a letter stating that at some future date they would provide an unspecified witness." The full press release, including her opening statement today, is posted at the end of this article.
"In the void left by the Justice Department," Feinstein said, former US Attorney David Iglesias was called as a witness today. As The BRAD BLOG reported in some detail when the hearing was announced several days ago, Iglesias was fired during the U.S. Attorney Purge after he'd refused to bring phony "voter fraud" charges despite pressure from both Republican operatives and elected officials alike.
It's little wonder the DoJ was not allowed to participate in the hearings, despite the well-funded White House and Republican efforts to use discredited "evidence" of "voter fraud" in order to require Photo ID restrictions at the polling place which would succeed in disenfranchising millions of legal, largely Democratic voters, who do not have such ID...
Blogged by Brad Friedman from the road...
The insidious nexus between phony GOP charges of "voter fraud" and the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal will finally be explored in a Senate Hearing on "In-Person Voter Fraud: Myth and Trigger for Disenfranchisement?" this Wednesday in Sen. Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) Rules Committee. The complete witness list and press release from Feinstein's office, announcing the hearings, is posted at the end of this article.
Witnesses will include, among others, former NM U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, believed to have been fired for his unwillingness to bring phony voter fraud charges in the state despite pressure from folks such as Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM), Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM), and a representative of Republican operative Thor Hearne's now-defunct "American Center for Voting Rights," (ACVR) which The BRAD BLOG originally outed as a White House/GOP front group in a long series of investigative reports dating back to 2005, which began just after the supposedly non-partisan group (co-founded by two very high level White House/GOP operatives) first appeared on the scene...
Perhaps we're missing something here?
Our friends at BuzzFlash have their top screaming headline set currently as...
...which links over to a quick report over at the Texas blog Burnt Orange Report (also good folks, as much as we know about them.)
The quick BOR article by Glenn Smith is headlined "Clinton Caucus Disruption/Vote Suppression" and appears to be at the end of a chain of increasingly panicked blog items which began with a report from Dallas Morning News, quoted as follows by Smith...
Some guy named Patrick Ruffini, at the right-wing Townhall blog of right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt, is using the space to disinform readers as to the reasons for the current shutdown of the FEC. And he's dishonestly misrepresenting a BRAD BLOG article from last year (we're the "left-wing blogger" he links to in his comments below) in order to help fool his presumably gullible readers...
In response to critical comments by former Republican Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, rightwing talker and self-proclaimed "Dean of the Limbaugh Institute for Conservative Studies," Rush Limbaugh, offered a fresh and perhaps telling explanation this morning for his ongoing attacks on presumptive Republican Presidential nominee John McCain.
"We're trying to avoid a fifty state landslide!" Limbaugh shouted angrily in reply to the comments from Eagleburger, who had slammed him and fellow Republicanist entertainer Sean Hannity of Fox "News" and ABC Radio.
"I don't know who elected Rush Limbaugh or Hannity as the heads of this conservative movement," Eagleburger says at the beginning of a clip from MSNBC last night that was aired on today's radio show. "They throw that word around as if it was theirs and theirs alone."
"I thought I was a conservative, but that doesn't mean that I have to buy off on everything these poobahs thinks is what's necessary to be a conservative," continued the former Sec. of State, before defending what he sees as McCain's conservative national security credentials.
Eagleburger's slam would lead to a telling outburst in reply from Limbaugh (full audio posted at the end of this article)...
The conspiracy theorists at the New York Times today tell us something is amiss, but proceed to ultimately tell us nothing about why it happened, suggesting that all is just fine...and that it'd be even better if the city "upgraded" to new electronic voting machines...
That anomaly was not unique. In fact, a review by The New York Times of the unofficial results reported on primary night found about 80 election districts among the city’s 6,106 where Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote, including cases where he ran a respectable race in a nearby district.
City election officials this week said that their formal review of the results, which will not be completed for weeks, had confirmed some major discrepancies between the vote totals reported publicly — and unofficially — on primary night and the actual tally on hundreds of voting machines across the city.
In the Harlem district, for instance, where the primary night returns suggested a 141 to 0 sweep by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the vote now stands at 261 to 136. In an even more heavily black district in Brooklyn — where the vote on primary night was recorded as 118 to 0 for Mrs. Clinton — she now barely leads, 118 to 116.
So how did the numbers change from 141-0 to 261-136 and from 118-0 to 118-116? No confirmed explanation is given, but some lazy guesswork about how votes are counted on NYC's old lever voting machines is proffered by local Election Officials, and dutifully passed on by the Times who --- before proceeding with a misleading "ad" for new electronic systems --- soothes our concerns by informing us that an unspecified number ("a handful") of districts also reported zero votes for Clinton in the original, unofficial tallies...
The strange situation with Washington state's Republican Caucus over the weekend keeps deteriorating by the hour, the more we learn about it. It all underscores, of course, why full transparency is useful when it comes to elections.
And yes, the process overseen by the state's GOP chair Luke Esser "the Suppressor" --- where Huckabee led McCain for the bulk of the day as returns were coming in, only to stop the counting at 87% once McCain took a 242 vote lead --- was anything but transparent.
Seattle's NBC affiliate KING 5 is now questioning the reported vote totals out of Snohomish County:
Throughout the vote reporting process, State Party Chairman Luke Esser has said the party is reporting the presidential preferences of the delegates who were elected at the caucuses. But today we learned that Snohomish County, the third-largest county in the state, reported the preferences of all caucus attendees instead of the elected delegates.
One Snohomish County caucus chairman told KING 5 that the delegate preferences are "dramatically different" than the attendee counts.
The Snohomish County Republican Party does not have the delegate preferences from many of its caucuses and is working to obtain them.
This is all made possible, as the WA state bloggers at HorsesAss (who have been doing some terrific work on all of this) helpfully report, due to the bizarre way in which WA Republicans determine delegate proportionment from the caucus voters.
Unlike the state's Democratic Caucuses, where delegates are essentially selected by a mathematical formula to mirror the way caucus goers voted, on the GOP side, participants at each precinct may determine how to proportion delegates any way they wish. For example, even if, say, Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul were to receive the most votes at a precinct, the organizers could still choose to give the most delegates to John McCain.
As the KING 5 report above points out, there is now a question of consistency with the numbers that state party chair Esser the Suppressor was reporting.
Adding still more worries for the Huckabee camp, or even the Paul camp who currently follow Huck with a close third place, David Goldstein at HorsesAss also points out that Esser has long served as a reliable hatchet man, for years, to WA State Attorney General Rob McKenna, who helped him get the job, and who just happens to be the state campaign chairman for, you guessed it, John McCain...
Wow. An amazing find by HorsesAss. Here's Washington state GOP Party chairman Luke Esser --- he who unilaterally stopped counted votes from Saturday's Republican Caucus at 87%, once McCain finally took the lead from Huckabee by just 250 votes --- from his earlier days as an aspiring vote-suppressor...
Now your average leftist loudmouth is a committed individual and can almost never be persuaded to ignore his constitutional rights. The deadbeats, however, are a different matter entirely. Years of interminable welfare checks and free government services have made these modern-day sloths even more lazy. They will vote on election day, if it isn’t much of a bother. But even the slightest inconvenience can keep them from the polling place.
Many of the most successful anti-deadbeat voter techniques (poll taxes, sound beatings, etc.) that conservatives have used in the past have been outlawed by busybody judges.
The only means of persuasion left available to us are Acts of God, who we know is exclusively on our side. I’m talking about seriously inclement weather. I want Biblical floods and pestilence. I will settle for rain, sweet rain. The deadbeats won’t even go out in the rain for their welfare checks (they send one of their social workers to pick it up). There’s no way they’ll vote if it’s raining.
That 'splains a bit, don't it?
Thus was the Republican party's now de rigeur "win"-at-all-costs atmosphere created by Esser over the weekend, leading Huckabee to say this morning on CNN: "That is not what we do in American elections... Maybe that's how they used to conduct it in the old Soviet Union, but you don't just throw people's votes out and say, 'well, we're not going to bother counting them because we kind of think we know where this was going.'"
Think again, Huck.
Be sure to factor all of the above in the next time you the hear the wingnuts tell you about "Democratic voter fraud" in the razor-thin Washington state Gubernatorial election eventually won by the Democratic candidate Christine Gregoire. They will tell you there was massive fraud in the race, though if you bother to look up what really happened, you'll learn the GOP never alleged fraud in their court case, which was thrown out and not even appealed, after no evidence of fraud was ever presented by them.
UPDATE 2/11/08 7:14pm PT: Seattle's NBC affiliate reports "inconsistencies" in votes as reported by Snohomish County. ALSO: Esser the Suppressor's ties to McCain's state campaign chairman. Details now here...
[Updated at bottom of article with an "explanation" from the WA state GOP chairman. This story gets more bizarre by the minute. Be sure to check the updates if you read this story earlier.]
"The Huckabee Presidential Campaign will be exploring all available legal options regarding the dubious final results for the state of Washington State Republican precinct caucuses," according to a statement posted today on their official campaign website.
It was 2:30am on the West Coast last night as we noticed CNN was reporting only 87% of precincts counted from Washington state's Republican Caucus yesterday. Just over 200 votes separated the leader John McCain from Mike Huckabee in a very close second, with Ron Paul coming in a very close third.
Throughout the day, according to Josh Marshall at TPM, Huckabee had been leading in the returns until very late, when McCain pulled just ahead of him by just a few votes.
"With 87% of the returns counted," writes Marshall, "the Washington state GOP, which runs the caucuses stopped releasing results. That left us and a lot of other news organizations in a bit of a quandary last night since it looked like McCain was going to pull it off. But as late as 1:30 AM on the east coast promised new results kept failing to materialize."
And then, in the middle of the night, the state GOP posted a press release declaring McCain the winner, even with some 13% of the votes still unreported, and just 242 votes --- out of 13,745 reported so far --- separating McCain from Huckabee who'd finished a "strong second" according to the GOP release.
"In other words," Huckabee campaign chair Ed Rollins says in their statement this morning, "more than one in eight Evergreen State Republicans have been disenfranchised by the actions of their own party."
"Now, I think it would be borderline for a media organization to declare one candidate a winner when the margin separating first and second was 1.8% with 13% of the results still uncounted," writes Marshall today. "But for the officials holding the election to declare the result on that basis is simply bizarre. But that's what they did."
Of course, none of that kept the always-responsible Reuters news service from declaring "McCain wins Washington state Republican contest" at 8:10am ET this morning.
This afternoon, the Huckabee camp is announcing they are prepared to go to court if necessary, as the candidate himself declared that "weird things" are going on in Washington while on NBC's Meet the Press.
At the same time, the results of the GOP Louisiana Primary, as announced by the state, are even closer than those so far released in Washington. Though because the election was held on wholly unverifiable electronic voting machines, everyone will simply have to settle for whatever numbers the faith-based systems reported to them, no matter how close the margin...
That was then, as The BRAD BLOG broke the story on 10/3/06. This is RIGHT NOW...
The good news: New Mexico now votes on paper ballots, since their touch-screen debacle in the 2004 Presidential Election left Gov. Bill Richardson with little legal choice but to move to paper.
The bad news: The huge turnout in yesterday's Democratic Primary led to long lines, voters who found they were no longer on the registration rolls for some still-unexplained reason, 17,000 votes had to be cast on provisional ballots which remain uncounted today, and now it's being reported --- incredibly --- that at least three ballot boxes were kept overnight last night, uncounted, at the home of a Democratic County Party Chairwoman.
What makes it all worse, as if all that is not troubling enough, is that the current razor-thin margin between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the caucus stands at just 217 votes out of 136 thousand ballots cast.
The governor's apologizing, the party is prevaricating, the candidates' representatives are negotiating, and, as usual, it's the voters who are left hanging, wondering if their voices will actually be heard...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
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