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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, September 19, 2014
Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife- Beating Judge Mark Fuller
2012 documents suggest years of repeated domestic abuse, of two wives and children by federal judge with lifetime appointment...
ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
Seeks full 7th Circuit hearing after remarkable three-GOP judge ruling reinstating Photo ID restrictions just weeks before election...
'Green News Report' 9/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
DiCaprio takes climate role at UN; Jindal plays dumbest role yet; Fracking confirmed (again) to contaminate; Black lung coal disease on rise; PLUS: Polluter front groups newest attack...
Previous GNRs: 9/16/14 - 9/11/14 - Archives...
Oil & Water: KPFK 'BradCast'
BRAD BLOG's Desi Doyen sits in for Brad with guests Matthew Heberger on water wars, David O. Atkins on CA's latest fracking fight, and Margot Paez on Mars!...
Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
MSNBC's Chris Hayes plays horrifying audio from the wife-beating incident of Federal Judge Mark Fuller; ALSO: calls for accountability from two Alabama U.S. Congresswoman...
Bobby Jindal: Climate Denier, Boy Genius
Louisiana's governor and pretend 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful pulls the old 'I know you are, but what am I?' maneuver by calling the Obama Administration 'climate deniers'...
'Green News Report' 9/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Hottest year on record in CA, hottest Aug. on record for planet; Record hurricane hits Cabo San Lucas; Warm-water fish found in Alaska; PLUS: Burlington, VT now 100% renewable!...
Previous GNRs: 9/11/14 - 9/9/14 - Archives...
Wife-Beating Federal Judge Finally Mentioned on MSNBC
MSNBC contributor asks about lack of outrage, impeachment for federal judge Mark Fuller who beat his wife bloody in August...
Outrage Slowly Grows After Wife-Beating Federal Judge Avoids Prosecution
Fellow GOP District Court judge calls for accountability, says 'no one should trust Mark Fuller's judgment in a federal trial courtroom'...
GOP PHOTO ID RESTRICTION LAW RESTORED IN WI
Republican voter suppression laws getting huge boosts from GOP-appointed federal judges in NC, where 100s recently disenfranchised, and now in WI, in advance of critical mid-terms...
Not Taking the ISIS Bait
The media and the U.S. Government have decided to give the latest barbaric idiots to rise up in the Middle East all the publicity they crave, despite the 'exaggerated' threat posed to the U.S., or even in the region. We're not interested in playing along...
'Green News Report' 9/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Greenhouse gas emissions jump at record rate; Australia's emissions soar after carbon tax axed; Oceans acidifying at historic rate; PLUS: Some good news: Ozone Hole begone!...
Previous GNRs: 9/9/14 - 9/4/14 - Archives...
Accountability for Judge Fuller?; O, Mighty ISIS!:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Will Alabama's wife-beating U.S. District Court Judge face impeachment? Plus: Callers, lots of 'em, on what to do about ISIS...
Wife-Beaters: Rice Loses Job; Judge Fuller Continues Lifetime Appointment
America was outraged by the NFL superstar. So, what about Alabama's federal judge who beat his wife bloody and is now off scot-free?...
'Green News Report' 9/9/14
Floods: Catastrophic in Pakistan, Historic in Phoenix; Hillary on Global Warming; Rand Paul dismisses; PLUS: Lobster Boat Blockade wins!...
GA GOP State Senator: Too Many Black People Will Vote in DeKalb County!
Vows to close 'election loophole' allowing convenient Early Voting in area 'dominated by African Americans'; UPDATE: Says just wants 'more educated voters'...
GOP Allows 'Citizens United' Amendment to Move Forward, Will Vote Against
Koch Brothers' beneficiary Sen. Rand Paul wouldn't even allow that much...
NYT Public Editor Calls Out Paper for Phony 'Balance' on 'Voter Fraud', Global Warming
Margaret Sullivan's no weasel (unlike a predecessor). She's calling out the 'paper of record' again for misreporting on GOP myths...
Siegelman's Judge Strikes Deal to Avoid Trial After Beating Wife Bloody
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller to have record expunged following drug/alcohol evaluation, domestic abuse counseling...
ObamaCare 'Nightmare': 2015 Premiums Rates to DECLINE in Many Major Cities
This whole 'tyrannical government takeover of health care' thing is really a disaster...for Republicans...
Federal Judge Orders Restoration of Early Voting Hours in OH -- Again
'Ohio GOP keeps trying to cut early voting and federal courts keep striking the cuts down'...
'Green News Report' 9/4/14
Accountability for BP in Gulf Oil Spill Disaster and for PG&E in deadly pipeline explosion; CA bans plastic bags, regulates groundwater for first time in history...
The Corruption of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman: KPFK 'BradCast'
GUEST: Attorney and BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest A. Canning...
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...


26 Vote in Favor, Including First Time Supporters Clinton, Obama
Feingold on the Floor: Points Out 76 Senators Who Voted to Cut Off Funding for Somalia Conflict in 1993...
By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2007 1:56pm PT  

As we broke early last week, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) brought his Reid-Feingold amendment, calling for defunding and an effective end to the Iraq War by a date certain (March of 2008), to the floor today. The measure failed to pass, but received 26 votes in favor, including all of those we named last week plus 16 or so more, all Democrats, including Presidential hopefuls Clinton and Obama, who supported such a measure for the first first time.

Greg Sargent has the list of Dems who voted for and against. David Swanson has more thoughts on the vote.

And we have Feingold's complete floor statement today posted below, in which he noted that in October of 1993, 76 Senators voted in favor of cutting off funding for the conflict in Somalia by March of 1994. "Many of them are still in this body," Feingold pointed out, "including Senators Levin, Cochran, Domenici, Hutchison, Lugar, McConnell, Specter, Stevens and Warner."

"Did those Senators jeopardize the safety and security of U.S. troops in Somalia?" he asked. "By cutting off funds for a military mission, were they indifferent to the well-being of our brave men and women in uniform?"

Not a single Republican, even those who voted to cut off funding for U.S. troops in Somalia, voted in favor of Feingold's amendment today.

Feingold's full prepared statement for today's Senate debate on the Feingold-Reid Amendment follows below...

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

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In Just Over 7 Minutes...
By Alan Breslauer on 5/15/2007 9:38pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

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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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Bill Supported by Majority Leader Reid, 8 Other Senate Co-Sponsors, to be Offered as Amendment to New Iraq War Supplemental
Exceptions for Funds Cutoff to Be Made for Fighting Terrorists, Security for U.S. Troops and Infrastructure, Training of Iraqi Security Services...
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2007 3:08pm PT  

In a statement just sent to The BRAD BLOG, Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) says he is prepared to up the ante in the fight with the White House in light of Bush's spending bill veto, and will be proposing that war funding be cut off by a date certain as part of the next spending bill sent to the White House.

Feingold adds that his previously proposed legislation, known as the Feingold-Reid Bill (S. 1077), had a number of co-sponsors already on board in the Senate, and that the same language would be used for his proposed amendment to the Senate's new supplemental spending bill.

His statement just in to The BRAD BLOG:

“With brave Americans fighting and dying for a failed policy in Iraq, members of Congress shouldn’t delay action to end this misguided war for weeks or even months just for the sake of political comfort. That is why, when the Senate takes up the Iraq supplemental, I plan to offer the Feingold-Reid bill as an amendment to force the President to safely redeploy our troops by March 31, 2008 at which point funding for the war would be cut off.”

In addition to Reid's support of the original bill, the co-sponsors already on board as listed at Feingold's website include Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), John Kerry (D-MA), Pat Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

It's not yet known if the same Senators will support the bill as an amendment to the next supplemental spending bill or not, according to a Feingold spokesman tonight.

The legislation includes a few caveats sure to be ignored by the wingnuts when they begin to attack it, so we'll point them out here. Namely, that Feingold's bill will not cut off funding for the purpose of:

  • "conduct[ing] targeted operations...against members of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations";
  • "security for United States infrastructure and personnel"; or
  • "to train and equip Iraqi security services"

CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this story was unclear about the differences between the two versions of Feingold's legislation. Feingold's original legislation, supported by 10 Senators in all, and quoted in full below, will be used as the basis --- "likely with identical language," according to a Feingold spokesperson --- as an amendment to the new supplemental spending bill in the Senate. At the moment, it's unclear what that new supplemental will look like. We thank the Feingold staffer who contacted us late tonight with the clarification.

The full text of Feingold's straight forward proposed legislation follows below...

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

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Failed 'President' Says 'Deadline for Withdrawal is Date for Failure'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2007 5:52pm PT  

Sen. Russ Feingold's office sent the following statement to The BRAD BLOG a few hours ago...

Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold

On the 4th Anniversary of the President Declaring “Mission Accomplished”

“The four-year anniversary of “mission accomplished” comes on the heels of one of the deadliest months since our invasion of Iraq. The anniversary reminds us that we shouldn’t give credence to an Administration that has made such disastrous mistakes in Iraq. Congress should listen to the American people and not an Administration that has been so wrong, and so dishonest, so many times. The President should acknowledge the will of the American people and sign the Iraq spending bill Congress is sending him today.”

Of course, Bush didn't. He vetoed the spending bill late this afternoon, saying "Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure, and that would be irresponsible."

Of course, nobody knows from failure and irresponsibility more than George W. Bush.

When he gave his infamous "Mission Accomplished" cod-piece speech on board the USS Lincoln on May 1 of 2003, just 139 US troops had been killed.

Since his MSM hailed photo-op, another 3,213 of our US troops have been killed in Iraq.

Happy Anniversary, asshole.

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First Posted in April of 2006...Back When Bombing Iran Was Just a Gleam in John McCain's eye...
By Brad Friedman on 4/20/2007 4:05pm PT  

...And this one, unlike John McCain's version, is actually amusing. Even if both of them are creepy as hell...


Kudos to the creator of the video, Adam Kontras, for his prescience and sense of dark satire back in April of 2006 when it was originally released. Even as we curse him for having given McCain, the former "straight shooter"-turned-wingnut-loon, any bad ideas.

Kontras tells us he received "lots of death threats from angry Iranians not understanding it," when he first posted it, and that he still does. As we receive far too many love letters here at The BRAD BLOG, hopefully this will to serve to send a few of the irony-impaired Iranians our way for a while instead. Always happy to serve.

(Hat-tip to Justice Through Music, who's also had this on their radar for some time!)

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Queen of Elimination Rhetoric, Hate Speech Joins 'Conservative' Presidential Candidate on the Dais...
By Brad Friedman on 4/20/2007 12:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Daniel Borchers of Citizens for Principled Conservatism

Controversialist Ann Coulter, legendary for her hate speech and elimination rhetoric (see just a few of her most notorious greatest "hits" in the chart below), is a featured speaker at tonight's New Jersey Right to Life (NJRTL) Banquet. That’s right, an advocate for death is a spokesman for life.

Presidential candidate Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), among others, will be sharing the dais with Coulter.

Despite Coulter controversies just last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, DC, and at the Reclaiming America for Christ (RAC) Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, NJRTL still prominently features conservatism’s most prominent polemicist.

Ann Coulter at CPAC 2006:

“I think our motto should be post-9-11, ‘raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.'“

(Responding to a question from a Catholic University student about her biggest moral or ethical dilemma) “There was one time I had a shot at Clinton. I thought 'Ann, that's not going to help your career.'“

If we find out someone [referring to a terrorist] is going to attack the Supreme Court next week, can't we tell Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalito?

Ann Coulter at the Reclaiming America for Christ Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 3/3/07.

“I spoke at CPAC yesterday, and I [took questions] about Obama and Hillary and Gore and global warming, and I said I was going to also have a few remarks about the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but apparently you have to go to rehab if you use the word ‘faggot.’

Those few abortionists were shot, or, depending on your point of view, had a procedure with a rifle performed on them. I'm not justifying it, but I do understand how it happened....The number of deaths attributed to Roe v. Wade - about 40 million aborted babies and seven abortion clinic workers; 40 million to seven is also a pretty good measure of how the political debate is going.”

I contacted both Sen. Brownback and Rep. Smith. Neither deigned to address, or even respond, to my concerns over their tacit endorsement of Ann Coulter’s views, despite my having written them to explain that…

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

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A Special Report from the Hearing Room by BRAD BLOG's D.C. Correspondent Margie Burns
Gonzales Calls US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald 'Outstanding'...
By Margie Burns on 4/19/2007 5:00pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by D.C. Correspondent Margie Burns

Today I sat in on the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, “Department of Justice Oversight,” part of which Brad posted about, earlier. The solo witness was Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, covering some by-now familiar ground in the matter of those questionable firings of US Attorneys in seven of 93 districts. In spite of some repetitive questioning, primarily by Charles Schumer (D-NY), the day was actually enlightening.

First, the hearing further indicated the direct White House connection suggested earlier by Brad. Gonzales is still in a position where he cannot speak freely about Bush, even if he wanted to do so. But even Gonzales’ measured and cautious answers to questions were revealing. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of Judiciary, led off by asking whether Gonzales had had any conversations about the US Attorneys with White House senior advisor Karl Rove. Answer: yes, in fall 2006 Gonzales had a conversation with Rove about USAs, regarding “voter fraud” in three districts – New Mexico, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia....

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

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Even While the Republican Governor of Florida (of all people and places) Restores Felon Voting Rights, Calls for a Ban on Touch-Screen DRE Voting, and Otherwise Succeeds in Shaming the Democrats...
By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2007 9:35am PT  

Florida's new Republican Gov. Charlie Crist continues to get far in front of Congressional Democrats concerning issues of Election Reform. Previously, he has called for the Sunshine State to replace all DRE touch-screen voting systems with paper-based optical scan systems (and touch-screen ballot marking devices for the disabled) and today, he succeeded in restoring voting rights for former felons to all but the most violent criminals after they've served their time.

While Democrats in Congress, and their public-advocacy group supporters such as People for the American Way (PFAW), MoveOn, Common Cause, and VoteTrustUSA, continue to dally around the edges of reform vis-a-vis Rep. Rush Holt's Election Reform Bill (HR811) in the House and a forthcoming companion bill from Dianne Feinstein in the Senate, shamefully, it's the Republican Florida Governor --- of all people --- who is proving to be the true Progressive in the fight for real reform.

There's plenty of blame to go around, of course. The GOP Legislature in Florida is hanging on to their own share of shame in fighting Crist's bi-partisan proposals to replace disenfranchising, democracy-stealing DREs. In Maryland, it's the Democrats in the Senate who are killing Election Reform after House Dems had approved it (as tepid as that reform would be in only requiring useless, panacea "paper trails" for the state's paperless Diebold touch-screen systems. LATE UPDATE 3/6/07 5:07pm PT: Stunning turnaround suddenly in MD's Senate, support for a paper ballot bill! Breaking details here...)

New Democratic Secretaries of State Debra Bowen in CA and Jennifer Brunner in OH are meeting their voter mandates and doing their respective best to correct dysfunctional, unverifiable, easily gameable voting systems, but they are also facing challenges from both Republicans and local Elections Officials alike who are fighting to put their own self-interests over those of the voters. As usual.

In the meantime, the currently-flawed federal bills in the U.S. House and Senate are on the verge of getting worse, not better, through the drafting, mark-up, and amendment process, as legislators bend to the demands of henhouse-guarding Elections Officials along with the uncritical support for "Election Reform, any Election Reform, whether it'll bring true Reform or not" by powerful groups such as MoveOn, VoteTrustUSA, Common Cause, and others.

By way of example, MoveOn sent out an email to members yesterday calling for unflinching support of the Holt bill, despite knowing it to be flawed and VoteTrustUSA yesterday sent out an "All-811-All The-Time" newsletter yesterday to members without a single article, from among the mountains available, critical of the bill. That, despite recent testimony to Congress by their own policy director, Warren Stewart, asserting that "the direct electronic recording of votes to computer memory is inimical to democracy." Both the Holt and Feinstein bills currently drafted would allow for exactly such systems, and in fact, institutionalize the practice for years to come.

Both MoveOn and VoteTrustUSA declined to respond to our queries seeking explanation about their mailings yesterday.

So what's going on here?

Legislation that would have been smashing in 2005, but has since been shown to be desperately out of date in 2007 given the mountains of new evidence which revealed itself during the 2006 Election Cycle and beyond, is mired under the weight of bureaucratic deal-making and go-along-to-get-along public advocacy. All of which is by-and-large enabling the Democrats who seem to be fiddling as democracy burns.

It's all made worse, for the moment, by the largest and most influential of the public-advocacy groups, PFAW, who continues to dominate the debate on many levels. The group, which The BRAD BLOG has come to learn wields great power and proxy throughout a large swath of the civil rights community, is not only currently against a much-needed ban of DRE voting systems, but --- far more disturbingly --- is actually advocating in favor of their use.

We reported recently on that point, but the evidence is perhaps more clear in PFAW's own published analysis [PDF] (pages 2 & 3) of the Holt bill [emphasis ours]:

DRE technology offers better access options to voters with disabilities and voters who have minority language needs.
...
Whereas optical scan technology requires the printing of thousands, if not millions, of ballots in multiple languages, the distribution of those ballots in adequate numbers for each precinct, and the training of poll workers to distribute those ballots to those voters who seem to need them, DRE technology is much more effective for minority language voters.
...
Similarly, DREs afford voters with disabilities an opportunity to cast an independent secret ballot— something that optical scan paper ballots cannot fully do. It is important that jurisdictions with large numbers of minority language voters and voters with disabilities have the flexibility to use DRE equipment.

PFAW's position, as expressed above, is wholly unsupported by scientific evidence, common sense, or anything else as we have learned while investigating the matter over the past several weeks and months.

When a Republican governor from Florida has gotten ahead of Democrats on this issue, it's safe to say that something has gone terribly wrong.

If someone within the Democratic caucus doesn't stand up soon and bring the type of leadership to this issue that Crist has brought to Florida, they risk becoming the owners of a dysfunctional electoral system previously designed-for-disaster, via the Help America Vote Act of 2002, by the now-disgraced, Republican felon, former Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio.

Is there nobody in the U.S. Congress with the leadership skills and courage to stand up and do what is both right and well-supported by scientific evidence in order to make America's broken system of democracy right again?

Is there nobody who will stare down the disingenuous and/or fearful and/or ill-informed and/or self-serving factions standing in the way of restoring America's once-great shining example of democracy to the world?

As the right to vote and to have that vote counted transparently and accurately underpins every other right we have in this country, we'll continue to keep digging, advocating, investigating, reporting, and hoping. The alternatives --- and consequences --- are far too dire to do anything less....

Take action to amend the Holt Election Reform Bill!
DEMAND A BAN ON DRE/TOUCH-SCREEN VOTING!
- Email Congress!
- Call your members!
See www.BradBlog.com/Holt for more details, coverage, talking points & information on all of the above!
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DoJ Rated Prosecutor 'Very Strong' --- NOT 'Undistinguished' --- But WaPo Ran With Claims from 'Unnamed Adminstration Officials' Anyway
Who Fed the Poison Pill? And Why Did it Run Unchecked?
By Margie Burns on 3/29/2007 5:04pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by D.C. Correspondent Margie Burns

Has the Washington Post been fooled (again) by high-level ‘leakers’? It sure looks that way.

On Tuesday, March 20, the Post ran a front-page article on the DOJ-U.S. Attorneys scandal that led off:

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald was ranked among prosecutors who had ‘not distinguished themselves’ on a Justice Department chart sent to the White House in March 2005, when he was in the midst of leading the CIA leak investigation...

The item was sourced to unnamed “administration officials” who gave it to two WaPo reporters “yesterday.”

This juicy lede graf was followed up:

The ranking placed Fitzgerald below "strong U.S. attorneys..." but above "weak U.S. attorneys who...chafed against Administration initiatives, etc.," according to Justice documents.

The major problem with this story? It’s not true. The Department of Justice never 'ranked' U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald negatively or as 'undistinguished.' According to sworn testimony by D. Kyle Sampson, today in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Fitzgerald was rated 'very strong' internally in the DOJ.

So who fed the Post that story? And why did they run it without pinning it down first?...

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

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'You're Not Making the Rules Anymore...Elections Have Consequences,' Says Boxer
By Alan Breslauer on 3/21/2007 5:11pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Senator Barbara Boxer has a little talk with Senator Exxon, uh, James Inhofe who did not want to let former Vice President Al Gore answer his questions on global warming. It was Gore's first appearance on the Hill since January, 2001. Lou Dobbs covers the entertaining bit (1:32).

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Lists Many Clinton AND Bush Administration Officials Who Have Been Allowed to Testify Under Oath Before Congress
Cites Previous White House Disclosure of Information, Communications...
By Brad Friedman on 3/21/2007 2:58pm PT  

Just out from Waxman's office. A letter [PDF] to House and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairs Conyres and Leahy disputing Bush's contention yesterday that he is giving Congress "unprecedented" access to White House information and officials.

The letter begins this way...

Dear Chairman Leahy and Chairman Conyers:

Yesterday President Bush asserted that the White House would give Congress "unprecedented" access to information regarding the Administration's recent dismissal of U.S. Attorneys. This statement is misinformed. As you continue discussions with the White House regarding your investigation of the U.S. Attorneys matter, I wanted to bring to your attention relevant precedent.

The President said yesterday that he would not allow White House aides including Senior Advisor to the President Karl Rove, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers, deputy counsel William Kelley, and political aide J. Scott Jennings testify under oath and on the record about the dismissal of the U.S. Attorneys. Contrary to the President's contention, there is extensive precedent for officials in these positions to appear before Congress.

When Republicans controlled Congress during the Clinton Administration, they routinely insisted that White House officials appear before Congress. During the prior Administration, a series of White House Counsels testified to congressional committees publicly and under oath:

Click here for the full letter [PDF], which outlines not only numerous White House officials who testified under oath before Congressional committees during the Clinton Administration, but even Bush Administration officials who were allowed to do so, as recently as last week!

This page at the House Oversight Committee has links to additional info and reports on the matter.

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The Vermont Senator Says We Are Otherwise On Track to Send a Full Trillion with No Oversight Adequate to Control Waste, Fraud and Abuse...
By Margie Burns on 3/20/2007 1:07pm PT  

Guest Blogged by BRAD BLOG's D.C. correspondent Margie Burns

"We don't have a law that would make war profiteering specifically a federal crime," Sen. Leahy (D-VT) said in this morning's efficient hearing conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee, so he is introducing one.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is busy these days --- what with the scandal over White House manipulations of the prosecutorial function of the Department of Justice, the continuing scandals of war profiteering in the "war on terror," and other oversight matters, the Committee is in jeopardy of being overstretched. In fact, it already is overstretched.

The room was full for this morning's hearing, which I attended, on "Combating War Profiteering," but, as with last week's House Oversight Comittee hearings with Valerie Plame et al, this one was also scantly attended by GOP'ers. Of Republicans, only the co-chair of the committee Arlen Specter (R-PA) and --- to do him justice --- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) graced the hearing with their presence. The co-chair could do no less, and indeed did little, though I noticed that both he and Leahy alluded to their past jobs as prosecutors, from which it can safely be inferred that they too think the current manipulations of US Attorneys --- prosecutors --- by the DOJ look very bad...

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

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Presidential Candidate Becomes First to Join Growing Movement When Queried About Issue at Campaign Event in California
Edwards Becomes Second Politician in a Week to Announce Support for the Election Integrity Movement After Being Asked About it at Public Event
By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2007 11:05pm PT  

While it's unlikely to get as much attention as Ann Coulter calling him a "faggot" during her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last night, The BRAD BLOG has learned that John Edwards is the first Presidential Candidate to announce his support for a growing movement calling for a ban on the use of all Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems in American elections.

The BRAD BLOG was contacted late last night by Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) Board Chair Mimi Kennedy with the news that during a campaign event in Los Angeles Edwards agreed to join her organization in calling for an end to electronic ballots in American elections.

PDA has been one of many groups calling for the ban and other important amendments to Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) new Election Reform bill (HR 811), recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Kennedy, an activist and actress well known for her role as Dharma's mother on ABC's Dharma and Greg, told The BRAD BLOG that during a Q & A period following his address last night, she asked Edwards whether he would join PDA in their campaign calling for "the complete removal of all Touch-Screen Direct Record Electronic voting machines from U.S. elections, with or without a paper trail."

Drawing an "X" in the air as the question was being asked, Edwards --- who was reportedly upset at Sen. John Kerry's decision not to contest the 2004 Presidential Election count, or lack thereof, in Ohio --- answered with a definitive "Yes!"

"Yes!" echoed Kennedy in response as the audience reportedly cheered and applauded.

Edwards's public support for a ban on DRE voting systems follows just over a week after Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) was asked a related question by an Election Integrity advocate at a public event at the University of California/Santa Cruz. Waters announced, in response to the query, that she would be withdrawing her co-sponsorship of the Holt bill in the wake of the growing concerns about several troubling shortcomings in the proposed legislation.

Kennedy attended the event, sponsored by the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club, with friend and former TAXI co-star Rhea Perlman, who unsuccessfully tried to video tape the Q & A session on her cell phone. The BRAD BLOG is attempting to locate a complete video of the event and we'll update this item if and when we do.

Before an audience estimated at 400, Kennedy rose and said to the former Vice-Presidential candidate...

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

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...Defends the Disastrous Help America Vote Act of 2002...Which He Co-Authored...
By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2007 11:25am PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

New Hampshire Election Integrity advocates bird-dogged the prospective Presidential Candidate and co-author of the disastrous Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), a couple of weeks ago concerning the failures of that bill. The short video follows.

We hope other folks will do same with Presidential Candidates from any and all parties and share their video tapes of responses. One of the things we learned in Arizona from Ted Downing, the chair of the Election Integrity Committee of the state's Democratic Party (the only state party in the union to have such a committee!), is that he plans to ask each and every Presidential Candidate to appoint an Election Integrity "Cabinet Member" to their campaign staff. We'll try to report back if and when any of those candidates take him up on that.

(Links to my radio interview with Downing and others in Arizona while Guest Hosting Mike Malloy and Peter B. Collin's shows are right here.)

We'll just add one comment in reply to the below video for the moment: Mr. Dodd, the system has not been "improved since 2000." It is far far worse.

(Hat-tip Nancy Tobi and the folks at Democracy for New Hampshire)

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