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Faking the Ferguson Docs:
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Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
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2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 hopeful 'charms' elderly voters in FL, by ignoring them...
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Republicans Call Ferguson Voter Registration 'Disgusting'
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Tells Paper It Was Marketing Department at His Lawfirm, Lathrop & Gage, Who Dunnit
Beyond That, Has No Idea Why His 'Client' ACVR's Website Disappeared...PLUS: More on Todd Graves & Tim Griffin...
By Brad Friedman on 6/15/2007 4:08pm PT  

Accomplished liar Mark. F. "Thor" Hearne told Jo Mannies at the Post-Dispatch (the only reporter he'll speak to of late) that there is absolutely nothing nefarious behind the continuing attempts by "someone" at his Missouri law firm, Lathrop & Gage, to scrub references to his discredited GOP "voter fraud" group, American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR), from his page at Wikipedia, as we discussed Tuesday, and again Wednesday, as the Wiki War continued, and as it became apparent that the ACVR had lied about their involvement in political activities on their federal 990 tax forms.

Mannies asked Thor about the ACVR references, now several times expunged from the page, and about what happened to the amazing, disappearing "voter fraud" hucksters. Incredibly, this is what she reports old Thor as having to say about it...

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

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Says DAG Paul McNulty Withheld Knowledge of Tim Griffin's Involvement in Challenging Minority Voter Registration in 2004
Former Rove Aide Griffin Posted to U.S. Attorney Position in Arkansas...
By Brad Friedman on 5/23/2007 11:46am PT  

From Monica Goodling's opening statement to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee this morning [emphasis added]:

Despite my and others' best efforts, [Deputy Attorney General, Paul McNulty]'s public testimony was incomplete or inaccurate in a number of respects. As explained in more detail in my written remarks, I believe that the Deputy was not fully candid about his knowledge of White House involvement in the replacement decision, failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of the White House's interest in selecting Tim Griffin as Interim U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, inaccurately described the Department's internal assessment of the Parsky Commission, and failed to disclose that he had some knowledge of allegations that Tim Griffin had been involved in vote "caging" during his work on the President's 2004 campaign.

For the record, it's the practice of sending registered mail to minority voters, asking for a reply, and if one doesn't come back, the voter's right to vote is challenged either at the polls, or attempts are made to remove them from the voter rolls --- usually without their knowledge. Allegations have been made that this was done, based on race, in 2004, when registered letters were sent to the home addresses of African-Americans in Ohio, Florida and elsewhere. Most insidiously, letters were said to have been sent to U.S. troops who were away, serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, and thus did not (and could not) answer the registered mail. Their registrations were then reportedly challenged.

The RNC agreed to cease the practice in a 1986 consent decree in a court case brought after they had "tried to have 31,000 voters, most of them black, removed from the rolls in Louisiana when a party mailer was returned, " according to the Washington Post.

"The consent decrees that resulted prohibited the party from engaging in anti-fraud initiatives that target minorities or conduct mail campaigns to 'compile voter challenge lists.'"

Hopefully one of the Judiciary Committee Members will follow up on this, with either Goodling or in further interviews with McNulty or Griffin, who was Karl Rove's aide at the time, before he was later shoved into Bud Cummins' position as Arkansas U.S. Attorney.

UPDATE 2:45pm PT: The DoJ released a statement this afternoon from McNulty, in response to Goodling's testimony and her claims that his "public testimony was incomplete or inaccurate in a number of respects":

"I testified truthfully at the Feb. 6, 2007, hearing based on what I knew at that time. Ms. Goodling's characterization of my testimony is wrong and not supported by the extensive record of documents and testimony already provided to Congress."

More on Vote Caging Lists at Wikipedia. The key details follow below...

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

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

BREAKING from Kansas City Business Journal:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Hat-tip to "overlander" at dKos)

For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR "Voter Fraud" scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR. Your donation to The BRAD BLOG in order to help us continue this investigation and many others, is much appreciated!
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Powerful GOP Missouri Lawyer at Powerful GOP Missouri Law Firm Admits Bringing Powerful GOP Attorney William Mateja in to Manage DoJ Investigaton of Lathrop & Gage, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt
Firm Also Recently Hired Governor's Sister Amy... More is Still to Come...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2007 11:39am PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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High-Level White House, DoJ, Rove Operatives Went to Work While now-Fired Prosecutor Bud Cummins Was Building a Case Against Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and the WH Connected MO Law Firm Lathrope & Gage...
By Brad Friedman on 4/23/2007 4:20am PT  

"You have to firewall politics out of the Department of Justice. Because once it gets in, people question every decision you make," the former U.S. Attorney from Arkansas, Bud Cummins, told the Los Angeles Times in March. "Now I keep asking myself: 'What about the Blunt deal?'"

What about the Blunt deal, indeed.

{Ed Note: See the 5/8/97 update at the end of this story concerning Cummins denial that he ever made that comment to the LATimes}

Last Thursday we began piecing together a few previously unconnected dots in the firing of Cummins. The dots connected appear to lay out a fairly straight arrow into the the highest levels of the White House. At least if you're familiar with some of the players, whom they know, and what they do for a living.

Since we've been reporting on the high-level (just about as high as they get) GOP operative, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, for some years now at The BRAD BLOG, the connection was made quite easily once we tripped upon a key fact: Hearne's Missouri law firm, Lathrop & Gage LC, was at the center of a criminal investigation by Cummins's office. That investigation had come to public light just before Cummins's sudden --- and still unexplained --- dismissal. He was replaced by Karl Rove aide Timothy Griffin.

While the Republican Punditocracy has been running around desperately repeating the old Scooter Libby-era chestnut "No Underlying Crime!" over the days since Gonzales's woeful testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, we've been looking more into the Cummins/Hearne/Rove/White House nexus, which seems to fairly scream out "Underlying Crime!" on just its face.

And others in the blogosphere, it seems, appear to be quite ready to burst as well with news on this element of the U.S. Attorney firings....

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

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Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins Was Fired Just After Reports Surfaced of Investigation into Law Firm of Top Level White House/GOP Operative and Close-Friend-of-Rove, Thor Hearne
Prosecutor Was Replaced by Rove Aide Timothy Griffin...
By Brad Friedman on 4/19/2007 10:53am PT  

[NOTE: SEVERAL UPDATES NOW ADDED INCLUDE ADDITIONAL DETAILS]

One quick observation concerning Gonzales's sorry "don't attack our troops" defense, and another --- much more important note --- on a so far unreported aspect of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal that seems to reach straight into the White House and about which someone on the Senate Judiciary Committee needs to ask some questions.

First, just the observation that Gonzales has been continuously suggesting today that questioning him is actually an attack on the career attorneys at DoJ. Nothing could be more disingenuous, yet familiar as a now-routine defense for this bunch. The reprehensible defense is identical to the oft-employed White House/GOP response to criticism of George W. Bush's handling of the Iraq War. "Stop attacking our troops!" they say, whenever someone is critical of Bush's horrendous war management.

Gonzales's "Stop attacking our career DoJ attorneys!" defense is no different and equally as disingenuous, particularly considering the now-long documented history that this White House has for its unprecedented politicization of the DoJ, its direct attacks on career attorneys in the civil rights division and elsewhere, its overruling of positions of those employees by Bush's political appointees, and so much more.

Thankfully, just before the lunch break, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) pointed out exactly that, and likewise compared it to the "Stop attacking our troops!" defense. It brought a round of applause from the audience in the room. (UPDATE: TPMMuckracker now has video of the exchange.)

Secondly, but certainly of far more importance, there is the so far ignored --- yet as I see it, direct --- connection to the White House concerning the firing of Arkansas U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins...

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

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