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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, April 16, 2014
'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 charitable medical clinic in rural Arkansas to close doors after health insurance reform law leads to lack of clientele...
'Green News Report' 4/10/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
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!)...
Previous GNRs: 4/8/14 - 4/3/14 - Archives...
'Green News Report' 4/8/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
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)...
Previous GNRs: 4/3/14 - 4/1/14 - Archives...
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...
Federal Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
Courts rules TX legislators must provide documentation related to passage of polling place Photo ID restrictions which may prove the discriminatory intent of the new 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?...
'McCutcheon' Mints Millions for Mass Media
Veteran journalist and media activist Sue Wilson explains how the new U.S. Supreme Court ruling is a windfall for the MSM. She also has an idea what to do about it...
'Green News Report' 4/3/14
Startling U.N. climate change report; Kochs enviro champs, say Kochs; TX wind power record; PLUS: ExxonMobil says 'F#@K you! We're ExxonMobil!'...
Reproductive Rights & Campaign Finance Law: KFPK 'BradCast'
Katie Klabusich says she's being 'targeted' by Eric Scheidler's anti-choice group. They both join Brad. PLUS: Ian Millhiser on SCOTUS McCutcheon ruling...
SCOTUS 'MCCUTCHEON' RULING TRASHES EVEN MORE CAMPAIGN FINANCE LIMITS
'Free speech' for the super rich wins again at the Roberts Supreme Court...
'Green News Report' 4/1/14
It's our special 'April Fox Day' edition of the GNR! Celebrating the anti-scientists and fossil-fueled fools at Fox 'News'!...
FCC Rolls Back Corporate TV Consolidation
Under its new chairman, the federal agency finally takes one small step to fulfill their mandate of assuring the public airwaves are actually used in the public interest...
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...


By Brad Friedman on 8/10/2008 12:44pm PT  

Wanna help BRAD BLOG stories reach still broader audiences? Hit those DIGG and REDDIT buttons you see at the bottom of stories you think more folks need to know about. (Not necessarily this one.) As the number of folks recommending the stories adds up, the headlines linking to those articles climb higher and higher at those huge sites, which gets them to more and more readers and so on. It really helps a great deal, and it costs you no more than a mouse click!

If you're not already signed up for those services, it takes two seconds for each of them, and then you can remain logged on, so you never have to log back in. Thanks for taking that extra coupla seconds! It matters! And helps the issues we cover --- frequently covered nowhere else --- get seen by a huge new set of eyeballs!

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BRAD BLOG Headquarters Shaken, Not Stirred...
By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2008 12:08pm PT  

Just minutes ago, the ground gently rattled and rolled a bit here at The BRAD BLOG World News Headquarters in Los Angeles for 15 seconds or so.

Wire services, TV and radio news responded within seconds to report a sizable 5.8 (later downgraded to 5.4) magnitude quake, centered some 28 miles east of downtown.

Don't have much more to offer for the moment, but wanted to report --- particularly for those who know we're back in L.A. --- that we're fine here. While the shake was noticeable, it was either far enough or deep enough (reports now say it was 7.6 miles down) that it didn't even much rattle the cupboards where we're located near Hollywood.

More later if we're able to offer any other notable developments...

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Complaint Against Hart InterCivic Withdrawn Following Adverse Ruling Limiting Whistleblower Claims
VIDEO/AUDIO: Brad on This Weekend's 'Ring of Fire' Discussing Latest Case Developments with Attorneys Papantonio and Schultz...
By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2008 12:35pm PT  

Reported by Brad Friedman, from the road...

The whistleblower lawsuit against voting machine company Hart InterCivic, as filed in federal court on behalf of former employee William Singer, has been withdrawn following a decision by the Supreme Court that makes pursuing the case nearly impossible, according to the law firm who originally filed the complaint.

The suit had been sealed for nearly two years as the Dept. of Justice asked for extension after extension during their decision on whether or not to join the case. Earlier this year, they ultimately decided not to join the case, as we reported last March, leaving the firm of Levin Papantonio Thomas Mitchell Echsner & Proctor, P.A to proceed on their own. The DoJ declines to join some 76% of such cases.

In the interim, while waiting for the DoJ, the case of Rockwell Intl Corp. v. U.S. [PDF] came before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the findings in that decision, as attorney Mike Papantonio told The BRAD BLOG, has "made it next to impossible to proceed with any and all federal whistleblower (qui tam) cases."

The decision found that Rockwell was required to pay millions of dollars under the federal False Claims Act to the federal government, but that the relator of the case --- the insider who blew the whistle --- was not entitled to any of that money, nor even for the millions of dollars accrued in legal costs since the amended complaint, filed with the Justice Dept., included information about which the relator did not have direct inside knowledge.

The SCOTUS finding, as expressed for the majority by Justice Antonin Scalia, may well hamstring future whistleblower cases in federal courts, according to legal experts.

"I used to think qui tam was the way to go," Papantonio told me as his firm was weighing their decision on how to proceed after the case was finally unsealed, "but now I just don't know anymore."

Papantonio's Florida law firm has used the qui tam laws successfully in the past, and has taken on giants such as the Tobacco Industry. After he and his radio partner Robert F. Kennedy Jr. had learned about Singer's case from The BRAD BLOG --- we originally reported Singer's extraordinary saga back in early 2006 --- they decided to launch the federal fraud suit on his behalf later that year.

(I was interviewed about the withdrawal of the federal case by Mike Papantonio for this weekend's Ring of Fire radio program, which he co-hosts with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.. A video version of the interview is also posted on their GoLeft.TV site. Both versions are now posted in full at the end of this article.)

Though the attorneys working on the case have gone out of their way to express their faith in both Singer and his remarkable complaint --- detailing more than 40 federal fraud allegations, and accusing Hart of doctoring voting machines, covering up system failures, including the loss and miscounting of votes, and other malfeasance, in order to attain contracts and payment under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 --- the chance that millions of dollars spent pursuing the case might be unrecoverable at the end of the process, even if successful, in light of the Rockwell decision, forced them to withdraw the complaint from federal court...

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

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UPDATE: Audio Archive Now Posted...
By Brad Friedman on 6/25/2008 5:14pm PT  

Posting has been light as I've been on the road over the last several days due to a family event up here in the Great Pacific Northwest. In the bargain, I'm trying to sneak in some much needed off-the-grid time between now and the July 4th holiday. No doubt, however, I'll be showing up here from time to time when I just can't help myself.

Our friend Jon Ponder of Pensito Review and others will continue jumping in as they have been over the last several days, and as their time allows.

But for now, a quick heads up: I'll be appearing live and in-studio from Portland tomorrow (Thursday) with the nationally syndicated and far-far Rightwinger Lars Larson. I've done his show several times, and a good rumble between him and me is usually in the offing. (He's appearing, as I type this, tonight on Campell Brown's CNN show, coincidentally, trying to smash up Obama on the desperate premise that he's "arrogant.")

Last time I was up in Portland, he and I went mano-a-mano live in-studio for two hours (the last hour of his local show, and the first hour of his nationally syndicated show), prompting David Edwards, who guest blogged my appearance for The BRAD BLOG that day, in late 2005, to write:

During the course of the show, Lars' tone seems to change from mature discussion to outright brawling anger. At one point during the second hour, Lars may have been briefly channeling the venomous Bill O'Reilly.

The contentious audio from that appearance is back here, if you're interested.

We'll see what tomorrow brings, but I hope you'll tune in, call in, or whatever ya can --- not that I don't love taking on Lars' usual wingnut callers!

I'll be on his local Oregon/Washington show tomorrow (Thursday) at 2:30pm PT (call-in#: 866-HEY-LARS) and the nationally syndicated show beginning at 3:00pm PT (866-509-LARS). You can listen live here, if his show is not broadcast in your local area.

And no matter what happens, I'm happy to go on the record right now to say that Larson scores big points for having folks like me --- who strongly disagree with just about everything he has to say --- on his show. Wish one could say the same for cowards like O'Reilly, Hannity, Rush, et al., but oh well.

So, Kudos to Lars in advance. We'll see how I feel about him tomorrow ;-) Either way, looking forward to it! You'll let me know how I did, as usual!


POST-SHOW UPDATE: Old Lars was obsessed with the SCOTUS decision today lifting the ban on handguns in D.C.. So that, despite my own personal interests in stuff that actually matters (versus grist for cynical political divisiveness) is what we talked about, for what seemed to be the bulk of the show. It was his house after all, and I appreciate his generosity in welcoming me to it. We did get a few other things in here and there however.

I was on for the full final hour of his local show, and the first half-hour of his national broadcast. With commercials and news removed (courtesy of LarsLarson.com) the audio archive is just 50 minutes. Download the MP3 or listen online below...

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And a Few More Site Update Notes...
(PLUS: An Important Note for BRAD BLOG Commenters from USA Today!)
By Brad Friedman on 6/18/2008 9:22am PT  

Guest Blogged by Brad Friedman of VotersUnite.org

If you haven't noticed, as part of the new upgrades to The BRAD BLOG, the Voters Unite "Daily Voting News" items that John Gideon faithfully shares with us each day, are now featured in the sidebar of every page, instead of on the main page index. The latest DVN will always be available in the right sidebar, allowing for one click access to both the complete list of the day's notable voting news links and/or the entire DVN archive.

There are a number of reasons for the move, among them, my hope that it might help to get the DVN in front of even more eyeballs, since more folks tend to come to The BRAD BLOG each day via links from other sites to specific pages here. Those folks might otherwise never see the DVN at all when they visit.

It will also allow us to post more to the front page without fear that it'll be moved quickly down the page by the each day's DVN. The move, I hope, will also have other added benefits that will hopefully become more obvious in the future.

For now, I hope you'll take the time to note John's very helpful link to VotersUnite's voter registration info database from yesterday's DVN. The VU database contains convenient info for many states on how to quickly check to make sure you haven't accidentally been purged. Like John, I urge you to make use of it now (and again, once or twice, between here and November), as opposed to waiting to be surprised on Election Day!

As ever, your input, thoughts, suggestions, ideas, complaints and wish lists for the site as I continue to strive to improve things whenever I'm able to find a minute or two to do so are always very welcome!

I'll be on the road for a few weeks, as mentioned previously, so may be here a touch less than usual (if I'm lucky!), but Jon Ponder of Pensito Review, Arlen Parsa of The Daily Background, the very busy Alan Breslauer of HotPotatoMash, John and undoubtedly others will be jumping in to to keep things more than lively around here in my "absense".

And speaking of keeping things lively around here, below is a bit of very good news, in the form of an inside joke for frequent BRAD BLOG commenters, courtesy of yesterday's USA Today. Enjoy...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/16/2008 12:22am PT  

I think we've kept our oft-made promise, so far, to bring you coverage of the 2008 Election that you will find nowhere else.

From the first Primary mess out of the box in NH; to Rep. Heather Wilson's vote-buying scandal in NM (she lost her bid for the Senate nomination, btw, poor dear); to thousands of "Double Bubble" ballots left uncounted on Super Tuesday in Los Angeles; to miscounted votes on Sequoia machines in NJ and the dope the company tried to put in charge of the "investigation"; to being called to testify to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission on their utter failures of federal oversight; to the federal fraud suit filed against Hart InterCivic; to their attempted takeover of Sequoia and our exclusive findings that the company doesn't even control its own software or intellectual property and their CEO has been busy lying about it; to nuns, students, vets, the elderly being disenfranchised altogether by the Supreme Court upholding unconstitutional Photo ID restrictions; to multiple races flipped by e-voting machines in Arkansas; to the continuing saga of voter fraud felon Ann Coulter and Fox "News'" attempts to ignore it; up to my very own e-votes getting flipped in L.A. the week before last; and so much more in between.

All that, just since the first few days of January this year.

We promised to keep an eye on the track conditions, even as everyone else was obsessed with the horse race, and so far, I think we've delivered.

If you are able to express your support with an online donation, it would be as appreciated as it is needed.

We have been forced to scale back our Summer travel plans for shortage of funds, and prices of fuel. But we've still got places we have to get to, beginning with a family commitment this coming week that will put us on the road again for the next several weeks.

Our 2008 Election Integrity Fund Drive continues, allowing you --- for as little as a $5/monthly commitment --- to receive any one of three items described at that link. If you can spare more per month, we'll toss in more Premium gifts in return.

If you can contribute at least $50 one time, we'll send you a collector's edition DVD of the remarkable documentary, Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections, hand-signed by the filmmaker, David Earnhardt. (DISCLOSURE: I'm in it, but it's a good film anyway.)

I can't express how much I hate asking folks for help here. Especially these days. But as blog ads have largely dried up for much of the blogosphere so far this season, and as The BRAD BLOG has no corporate or foundational funding, we have nowhere to go but to you.

If you can help us keep going, I commit to continuing the same investigative, muckraking, cry-till-ya-laugh, laugh-till-ya-cry coverage of our American democracy that you will find nowhere else. Although if I can find a few days off between now and the conventions, I'm gonna try to take 'em. Not that I usually have much luck at that sort of thing. But it won't stop me from trying.

As always, your support means the world. Thank you, in advance... --- Brad

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By Brad Friedman on 6/15/2008 9:07am PT  

In all my "free time," I've been working for quite a while on programming a number of updates and reformatting to the site. I'm rolling some of that out today, and welcome your feedback.

Some of the updates are meant to freshen up the format a bit, allow for more future additions and expansion, and, hopefully, to improve the speed issues a bit.

You may need to hit shift-refresh once to get all the updated graphics and such, but thereafter I hope you enjoy the new changes, along with more to come as mentioned. If you have any problems on any pages, or any other concerns, complaints, other thoughts (even positive ones) or requests for the future here, I hope you'll feel free to share them in comments.

Thanks for your patience as I smooth out any bumps and, as always, for your continuing support, without which we'd have never even made it this far.

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By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2008 7:05am PT  

Earlier this week I posted my invitation to address the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), on behalf of The BRAD BLOG, at a roundtable of "Voter Advocates" to discuss the proposed 2007 federal Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines (VVSG).

Given the primary in PA this week and other considerations, as I noted then, it seemed wiser for me to stay back here in LA rather than travel to and from DC this week. So I asked computer security expert and e-voting specialist Dr. Rebecca Mercuri to sit in for us. She did so yesterday, and will be joining Peter B. Collins and me tonight on his radio show, during my weekly Friday guest appearance (5pm PT, 8pm ET, listen online here) to report on how things went.

I was, at least, able to submit my own written statement to the EAC, with my fairly direct thoughts on the VVSG and the nightmare such federal certification standards have wrought. The statement is now posted [PDF] at the EAC website, along with some of the statements from some of the other participants, and it's also posted in full below.

I'll try to update this item with the audio from the PBC show later tonight, and Dr. Mercuri will likely post her own report in full here at The BRAD BLOG in the coming days.

Update: Audio from the PBC Show, with myself and Dr. Mercuri discussing the EAC roundtable, now available for download [MP3], or online listening here (commercials removed, appx 42 mins)...

My written testimony/statement to the EAC follows in full below. Please enjoy, and feel free to let me know what you think in comments...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/22/2008 1:41pm PT  

We were both pleased and mildly surprised to see the invitation arrive from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) a few weeks back, asking us to come to DC, on their dime, to participate this coming Thursday in a one day "Voting Advocate Roundtable Discussion" on the proposed 2007 federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG).

Our invitation, from EAC Chair Rosemary Rodriguez, is posted at the end of this article.

Even while we've been nothing short of merciless in our criticism of the EAC, over the years here at The BRAD BLOG, the outreach is both welcome and appreciated, even as we are always very aware of all of the pitfalls associated with participating in such a process. Yet, with our eyes wide open, we see the opportunity to participate in the process, in hopes --- futile or otherwise --- of attempting to steer it back towards the rails which were jumped at the federal level long ago, as a hopefully positive one. Call us eternal optimists, but, as long time readers here likely recognize, we have never been one to slap down an olive branch offered, for whatever reason it may have been offered in the first place.

As you might suspect, we have some very strong opinions about the VVSG --- all 598 dizzying, yet wholly inadequate pages of it [PDF] --- and the disastrous course it will continue to enable for our election system, if accepted as currently proposed.

For a number of reasons, not the least of which was today's important primary in PA, we thought it better to be in or near the BRAD BLOG Anchor Desk this week, rather than in the air all day Wednesday, off the grid all day Thursday for the meeting, and back in the air all day Friday...

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

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Beacon News' Dan Campana Commits 4 Acts of Journalism in 2 Days...
By Brad Friedman on 4/14/2008 1:08pm PT  

Wow...We're blown away by this article in today's Beacon News. [Article now hidden behind paid archives, here's a local repost.] It begins this way:

The little blog that did
For four years, Bradblog.com has reported on voting machine problems

April 14, 2008
By Dan Campana dcampana@scn1.com

If the mass media ever did its job, Brad Friedman could go back to his former life, the one before 2004 when election scandals became his full-time vocation...

We're greatly appreciative of Campana's coverage. Not only because he's very kind to us, but because --- as a total of four of his stories filed over the last two days reveal --- he has actually done what so few corporate journalists seem able to do today: Actual journalism.

Before we saw the piece mentioned above today, we had kind words about his coverage yesterday of the wholly under-reported Hart InterCivic federal fraud suit. But beyond that detailed piece, his follow-up story today and "related coverage" offered on both days has been top-notch. Here are links to each of his stories today and yesterday...

That, ladies and gentlemen, is what journalism is supposed to look like. And yes, if we had a few more hundred (we'd settle for a few more dozen) like Campana, we'd be more than thrilled to go back to what we were doing prior to falling into this remarkable American Nightmare. We look forward to the day we can take down our shingle entirely and leave all of the heavy lifting to folks like him who actually get paid to do this stuff.

(But until then, whatever support you can afford to help keep us going is appreciated...You are all we've actually got. So, please see below, and please keep spreading the word.)

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!
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Along With Some Very Kind Words About The BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 4/4/2008 10:43am PT  

Sitting in this week for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, David Bender joins Ring of Fire co-host/attorney Mike Papantonio to discuss, in the first five minutes of the show, the finally-unsealed qui tam fraud suit brought by Pap and RFK Jr's law firms against voting machine company Hart InterCivic, on behalf of former employee/computer technician turned whistleblower William Singer.

In the following clip, which will air this weekend on Air America's Ring of Fire program, both Bender and Pap offer exceedingly kind words for The BRAD BLOG and yours truly. (Thank you kindly, gents.)

We had originally broken Singer's remarkable story back in 2006. Our conversations shortly thereafter with Kennedy, and then with Papantonio's lawfirm, led to the filing of the suit, alleging a host of improprieties and criminally fraudulent behavior by the voting machine company as they dummied up voting machines during sales presentations, and concealed known failures, such as the possibilities of lost and miscounted votes, in their systems.

Pap also notes, during discussion of the case, that the nearly-two years it had to stay sealed by law --- while the DoJ ate up time in deciding whether or not to join the case --- is unusual in and of itself. Normally, in such qui tam cases, the DoJ is given just 60 days to decide whether or not to join with the whistleblower on behalf of the United States. Pap also goes on to note what may, or may not, be a coincidence: the US Attorney in CO, where the suit was filed, was removed shortly after this case was brought in his district, but before the decision was ultimately made by the DoJ not to join the suit...For now...


UPDATE: Here is an audio version of the first five minutes of the show, for those who had problems using the video player above...

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By Brad Friedman on 4/3/2008 6:35am PT  

From Noah Schactman at Wired's "Danger Room" blog...

Military Report: Secretly 'Recruit or Hire Bloggers'

A study written for U.S. Special Operations Command suggested "clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers."

Since the start of the Iraq war, there's been a raucous debate in military circles over how to handle blogs --- and the servicemembers who want to keep them. One faction sees blogs as security risks, and a collective waste of troops' time. The other (which includes top officers, like Gen. David Petraeus and Lt. Gen. William Caldwell) considers
blogs to be a valuable source of information, and a way for ordinary
troops to shape opinions, both at home and abroad.

This 2006 report for the Joint Special Operations University, "Blogs and Military Information Strategy," offers a third approach --- co-opting bloggers, or even putting them on the payroll. "Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering," write the report's co-authors, James Kinniburgh and Dororthy Denning.

Seriously, people. Why won't somebody please buy me off?! I'm a "prominent blogger," or close enough to it. I'm starving over here. Where are you, CIA? Military? George Soros? It's tax time for crying out loud, and rent is due!

In lieu of the big bucks, hopefully you will consider buying me off. Therefore, with plenty of premiums to "sell" you in return, I am now cutting the price for 'em!

See this post for how you can receive your choice of any or all of the following, beginning at just $5...

  • DVD of Uncounted, signed by the filmmaker, David Earnhardt
  • CD of Duhmocracy, signed by the singer/songwriter Victoria Parks
  • Copy of Troubletown Told Ya So book, signed by cartoonist/author Lloyd Dangle
  • Copy of Politics as Usual board game, signed by nobody (though I'll sign it if you really want me to!)

Take your pick from the premiums above, most available beginning at just $5/month sustaining subscription to The BRAD BLOG. We could use it. Seriously.

...At least until Wal-Mart, Diebold, or the U.S. Army come knocking.

And if you don't wish to become a sustaining monthly supporter but still want to support, you can, of course, just toss us a few bucks. We'll take that too. $50 or more tossed this way, will get you that signed copy of Uncounted, a gazillion dollar value!

(Hat-tip BRAD BLOG read "TH")

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'We're talking about remodeling the furniture in the house, while the house is burning down'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/2/2008 6:35am PT  

As mentioned last Friday, over the weekend, I spoke at CA Common Cause's "Media Reform Conference" out in Pasadena. The panel discussion, "Have the media undermined our democracy?" included myself, along with Congresswoman Hilda Solis (D-CA), Alex Nogales of National Hispanic Media Coalition, Jonathan Taplin of USC Annenberg School of Comm. and Kevin Uhrich of the Pasadena Weekly. It was moderated by Tracy Westen of the Center for Governmental Studies.

The short video of my opening remarks, naming names and doing what I do, along with my comments on the panel --- naming still more names and still doing what I do --- during the Q&A section, follows below. Text transcript (courtesy of VelvetRevolution's Emily Levy), follows below that...


Text transcript of the remarks follows below...

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By Brad Friedman on 3/30/2008 1:48pm PT  

"Mission: To encourage citizen ownership
of transparent, participatory democracy."

- Creekside Declaration, 3/22/08

The statement is deceptively simple. Yet I think it best underscores all that we fight for here, and what we hope those who claim to be toiling for the same cause will measure themselves against.

I was privileged to spend last weekend with a dozen or so Election Integrity advocates and heroes of mine in Palo Alto, CA, at the Creekside Inn. Those in attendance had experience in election administration, data analysis, media watchdogging, voting rights activism, voter advocacy, computer programming and security, boots-on-the-ground oversight, election auditing, and even voting system vendor perspective. We stayed, after viewing the near-final cut of Dorothy Fadiman's soon-to-be-released Stealing America: Vote by Vote on Thursday night, to chat, strategize, and otherwise spend some time in person with a few of the folks we so often spend only virtual time with.

The declaration was created as several of us determined it would be helpful to define the cause as specifically and directly as possible. Once it was finalized, I signed it first, in large letters, as the Hancock legend goes, "so that King George can read it without his glasses."

My hope is that anyone --- any person or organization, or even candidate for office, claiming to be in the fight for clean, fair, honest, accurate democracy --- would both commit to this simply stated mission, and then measure his or her efforts against it.

Will People for the American Way, Common Cause, Verified Voting, and Rep. Rush Holt sign on to the mission stated above? If so, does advocating for touch-screen voting systems with so-called "paper trails" encourage citizen ownership of transparent, participatory democracy? Does vote-by-mail?

Will our current crop of Presidential candidates, D and R and anything else, pledge to support the mission inherent in the Creekside Declaration? If so, will they then stand up for a paper ballot --- one that is actually counted --- for every vote cast in America?

The BRAD BLOG pledges to adhere, and fight for, the values contained in the Creekside Declaration. Will your Election Integrity group do so? I hope you will ask them, and yourselves. And if so, I hope you'll state as much publicly, and will then proceed to test all that you do, and fight for, and stand for, against the simple, yet monumentally important, ideas in that declaration.

Tribune Media Columnist Bob Koehler, who joined us over the weekend, is one of the few voices within the corporate mainstream media who seem to truly understand what's at stake, the price it may take to ensure it, and the cost of not doing so. He has more in his column this week, on both the weekend, the declaration, and the ideals that I believe we are all duty-bound, as Americans --- and even as World Citizens --- to pledge to fight for.

His column begins this way:

The ground feels a little soft, but we’re going to stand it.

Premise one: Having a fair election — all votes counted, all who are eligible and want to vote allowed to vote — is far, far more important, even in 2008, than who wins.

Premise two: Fair elections are not a given. They never have been, but things are worse now than ever before because of a perfect storm, you might say, of factors that have converged in the new millennium: officialdom’s seduction by unsafe, high-tech voting systems; the seizure of power by a party of ruthless true believers who feel entitled to rule and will do anything to win; a polite, confused opposition party that won’t make a stink about raw injustice; and an arrogantly complacent media embedded in the political and economic status quo.

The result: Benjamin Franklin’s worst nightmare.

I hope you'll read the rest...

Folks in photo identified here...

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!
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Misrepresents a BRAD BLOG Article to Help Disinform Rightwing Readers...
By Brad Friedman on 2/25/2008 3:32pm PT  

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...

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